The striker admits while he is ready to “do anything” to beat the South American side in their Group D game, he will not bend the rules for success at the World Cup
Daniel Sturridge has revealed he will not “cheat” to win England’s “do or die” Group D game against Uruguay on Thursday.
The Three Lions lost their opening World Cup fixture 2-1 against Italy on Saturday, and defeat to Oscar Tabarez’s side would all but end their hopes of progressing to the knockout stages.
And Sturridge – who netted against the Azzurri – says that while he will “do anything” to make sure England stay in the competition in Brazil, his methods will not stretch to breaking the rules.
“We’re an honest country,” he told reporters on Monday. “We go about our business in an honest way. No disrespect to other countries, I’m sure they are honest, too.
“But we play within the laws of the game. We don’t bend the rules. We play by the book. There’s nothing wrong with that.
“We’ve gone a long way doing it, from 1966 when we won the World Cup. We played within the laws and that’s how I was brought up, how everyone in our squad was brought up.”
Sturridge’s Liverpool team-mate Luis Suarez attracted controversy by handling on the line to deny a certain goal for Ghana in the 2010 World Cup quarter-final, with Uruguay progressing in a penalty shootout.
Although Suarez showed no qualms over his actions by celebrating wildly afterwards, Sturridge says it is not in his nature to seek victory in a similar manner.
“We don’t like to cheat to win,” he continued. “We want to play in an honest way. That’s how I feel football should be played. I will stay on my feet. I will never dive on purpose to get some guy sent off.
“I’m not going to handle a goal to stop the ball going in the net because it’s not in my nature. So not diving, but I will do anything – just like every single one of my team-mates – as Uruguay will, too.
“They’re hungry, just like us. And we’ll work our socks off, do more than we’ve ever done before.
“I’ll be truthful. I am going to do anything in my power to win this next game. I am prepared to do anything and I am talking anything.
“I’m being serious. It is do or die. It’s a World Cup. I’m hungry, I’m confident and I’m so happy to be out here.
“This means everything to every single individual in this squad. Do I want to go home early? No. I want to win this World Cup like everyone back home wants us to win it and I’d be gutted to go out in the group.
“It means the world to me to play for England and I’d be devastated if that happened. So, yes, anything. And I’m being totally honest with you guys.”
Suarez sat out Uruguay’s shock 3-1 defeat to Costa Rica as he battles back to fitness following knee surgery before the tournament, but Sturridge insists that even if the forward does not play, Uruguay have enough talent to cause Eng;and problems.
“The best are unpredictable and Luis is unpredictable,” he said. “So it’s not for us to worry just about Luis. We’re the players that are up against him most, the English defenders. We know him better than anyone else at the World Cup.
“Sure, he’s a world-class player, but we’re facing Uruguay, with [Edinson] Cavani and [Diego] Forlan, who is a legend in Uruguay and has done really well in Europe. There are other players who are technically very gifted.
“Would I want Luis to be injured? Would I want to play against him? It doesn’t really matter. If Luis is fit, good luck to him. If not, there’ll be another hungry player doing his best. We’re worrying about Uruguay as a team, not just him.”