By Coral Barry

David James has personally told Daniel Sturridge that he must ignore the whispering campaign about his injury problems.

The Liverpool striker hit back at criticism this week concerning his commitment to football after making just three starts under Jurgen Klopp because of injuries.

James was speaking on BT Sport in the lead up to Liverpool’s game with Augsburg in the Europa League and had some words of advice for Sturridge.

He said: “Daniel Sturridge is a wonderful player, but his fitness issues have been a concern.

“I spoke to Daniel a few weeks ago when I was up at the Liverpool training ground and it was bothering him then, passionately bothering him.

“Which is nice in one respect the fact that he is actually feeling emotional [about the criticism] but the other thing is that he is listening to pundits to gauge a view of his performance, which I wouldn’t recommend.”

Injury prone: Sturridge has made just six league appearances this season

In October former England international James slammed Liverpool’s “mediocre” performance against Rubin Kazan and raised eyebrows when he suggested that Sergio Romero is Manchester United’s best goalkeeper, over David de Gea.

Sturridge made a third successive start for the first time in eleven months against German side Augsburg on Thursday.

His return from his latest injury comes at the perfect time for Liverpool as they search for silverware in Europe and face Manchester City in the Capital One Cup final on Sunday.