Jurgen Klopp insists Daniel Sturridge isn’t suffering from a crisis of confidence as he backed the Liverpool striker to break his Premier League goal drought.
The England international has played 616 minutes of top-flight football since he last found the net against Newcastle United back in April.
Sturridge endured another frustrating night on his 100th appearance for the Reds in Monday’s goalless stalemate with Manchester United as he was taken off in the second half.
His lacklustre performance re-ignited the debate over whether he can adjust to Klopp’s style and hold down a starting role.
However, the manager has reaffirmed his faith in the 27-year-old frontman and says even the greatest strikers go through difficult periods.
Asked if Sturridge’s confidence had dipped, Klopp said: “I haven’t noticed it.
“If we have a shooting exercise, there are still tears in your eyes when you see him and think: ‘oh f****** hell, what is that? That is unbelievable!’
“But then you see the games. There are no easy one, two, three situations where he could have scored and you think ‘uh-oh, he should have scored’.
“I’ve been here a year, and even I have thought in some moments: ‘Ball… Sturridge…. Goal. Oh No!’ There are moments when you think he should score and he doesn’t but you have to carry on.
“It is a very important and very useful moment in his career.
“A big name…. (Robert) Lewandowski. There were times when he didn’t score. Gerd Muller! There were games he didn’t score.
“I still can’t believe it. You look back on his career and he scored 600 times but there were moments when he didn’t score.
“It is only to handle situations like this. It is not to make too big a thing about it.”
Klopp hasn’t felt the need to talk to Sturridge about his long wait for a Premier League goal.
“I don’t have to,” he said. “It’s like when you have a problem, you don’t want someone coming up to you all the time, tapping your shoulder, and saying: ‘hey, it’s all right! You can do it!’
“I respect these guys. I know, they know, so let’s go through.”