Sturridge ready for next phase
6:33am Monday 2nd June 2014 in © Press Association 2014
England headed to Miami on Sunday for the next phase of their World Cup preparations, with Daniel Sturridge highlighting the importance of using the time to acclimatise to hot and humid conditions.
Roy Hodgson's side are spending the next week in Florida as they continue their build-up for Brazil, with friendly matches slated against Ecuador and Honduras.
However, just as important as those games will be getting used to the difficult conditions they are likely to face in South America - especially in their Group D opener against Italy in Manaus, deep in the heat of the Amazon.
Poor weather meant the recent training camp in Portugal did not help the Three Lions much in that sense and, while they wore layers in a bid to replicate the uncomfortable surroundings, nothing can beat the real deal offered by Miami.
"It's the next phase - it's going to be a lot warmer there," Liverpool striker Sturridge said of the Miami trip.
"It's going to be a lot more difficult in terms of the conditions, which is great preparation for us because the weather (in England and Portugal) wasn't as hot as it's going to be out there.
"When we go to Brazil it's going to be even warmer. It's good to have two games out there (Miami) to prepare well, to train hard. We never make excuses about conditions and, going into the World Cup it's going to be the same.
"You have to adapt your style to the conditions. You can't always play the way you want to play when it's warmer.
"It's not about worrying about the heat, the rain or the snow - you just adapt your style to whatever the conditions are and you look to play your football regardless of how it is."
England travelled to the United States on the back of a 3-0 win against Peru at Wembley, although it looked far more convincing on paper than in actuality.
Sturridge's wonderful first-half opener was the best moment of a lacklustre encounter in which he collected the man-of-the-match award and continued his fine form.
The Liverpool striker netted 21 Premier League goals last season and has now scored three in his last five England starts - not that he believes that makes him a shoo-in to start at the World Cup.
"Regardless of what team the manager picks, that is the manager's choice and I am just here to work hard in training and in the games and show what I can do, which is the same for everyone else in the squad," Sturridge said.
"There are obviously certain players who have their spots nailed down, but in my mind I haven't and I am working hard every day to continue to show what I can do.
"It is about being comfortable and uncomfortable. For me there are no guarantees in football and I will just work hard and not worry about which team the manager will pick.
"I will focus on what I can for the team and leave the decisions to the boss because that is what he does."
While Sturridge represented Great Britain at London 2012, the World Cup will be his first major tournament with England's senior team.
The 24-year-old is not alone in that, given Hodgson has plumped for a mainly inexperienced squad, which the nation will support more in hope than expectation in Brazil.
"I think everyone is desperate to show what they can do and desperate to bring some success," Sturridge added. "I am thankful to the fans for being behind us and showing great support.
"We understand the magnitude of the task and it is a big task to go to a World Cup and have success - for every country, not just us.
"We have got a great squad and, whatever happens out there, we just look to put in good performances that we can be proud of."