Sturridge: Suárez friction helps us

• Most visible clash between strikers came in Everton win
• 'Everyone's pushing to get the best out of each other'

Daniel Sturridge believes that it does not matter that he and Luis Suárez are hard on each other during matches, saying that their occasionally fiery relationship has been a crucial factor in Liverpool's title challenge rather than harming morale.

Suárez and Sturridge have formed a devastating partnership this season, scoring 24 and 21 goals respectively in all competitions, and their form has helped lift their team to second in the table. Liverpool, who visit Manchester United on Sunday, are seven points behind the leaders, Chelsea, but have a game in hand.

Yet there have been arguments. The most notable incident came in the 4-0 victory over Everton in January, when Suárez could not hide his anger with Sturridge for failing to set him up for what would have been a tap-in. The clash did not lead to them falling out. Suárez's constant desire for perfection does not bother Sturridge, who said he could be just as demanding. The England striker added that Steven Gerrard and Brendan Rodgers were the same but said that striving for perfection is what makes a team successful.

"I'm demanding," Sturridge said. "Stevie's demanding. Everyone's demanding. It's not just Luis that's demanding of the players. The manager's very demanding of the players. It's important that everyone's demanding if you want to be successful and everyone's pushing each other to get the best out of each other, and that's what we all try to do."

Sturridge, who joined Liverpool from Chelsea 13 months ago, has learnt a lot from Suárez in the past year. "He works tirelessly," the 24-year-old said at the Fifa World Cup Trophy Tour by Coca-Cola. "I think we combine very well. He's someone who wants to win, and I want to win, we both enjoy to score goals, both like to assist each other. I think we've both got three assists for each other, so we look for each other and we give each other opportunities and we work as a unit. I enjoy playing with him."

Sturridge is expected to lead the line for England at the World Cup finals, yet Roy Hodgson was criticised for using him in a wide role against Denmark last week, with Wayne Rooney starting in the middle. Sturridge scored the winner after Rooney had been substituted but believes that they can play together.

"Myself and Wayne have been training hard together – we get on very well off the field and have a lot of banter together," said Sturridge, who will be on the opposing side on Sunday. "When we get on the pitch we do the job the best we can and work for each other and the country. We just want to try to help the country be successful, that is the most important thing for everyone.

"We have had a lot of banter about things at England. Wayne is a very nice guy and he is someone who helps me out a lot, he helped me score my first goal for England at Wembley when he gave me the penalty against Montenegro and he has been so helpful." © 2014 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

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