The return of England striker Daniel Sturridge has been a key reason behind Liverpool’s impressive run of form, says manager Brendan Rodgers.
Sturridge, 25, scored as his side defeated Crystal Palace 2-1 on Saturday to move into the FA Cup quarter-finals.
The Reds have won four of the five games Sturridge has played in since he came back after nearly five months out because of calf and thigh injuries.
“Daniel coming back has given us a big boost,” said Rodgers.
“You can see his qualities – his speed, his touch and he doesn’t need too many chances to score.
“The team is functioning at a high level.”
Sturridge picked up a thigh injury while on international duty in September and then suffered setbacks as he injured his calf and thigh again before he made a goalscoring return in Liverpool’s 2-0 win over West Ham in January.
At Selhurst Park, Liverpool fell behind to Fraizer Campbell’s 15th-minute goal, but Sturridge equalised before Adam Lallana grabbed the winner.
The result means the Reds have only lost twice in 22 games since a 3-1 Premier League defeat against the Eagles in November.
“Since that loss the players’ response has been magnificent and the character shown incredible,” added Rodgers.
“It wasn’t a good feeling the last time we were at Selhurst Park. We were at a real low point with players trying to adapt to the expectations that had been put on them.
“We had key players out so we had to get them playing with the intensity we have had over the last two years. That loss was a real adverse moment for us and from that the team has got better.”
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