Sturridge thankful for Team GB patience
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Great Britain forward Daniel Sturridge thanked manager Stuart Pearce on Saturday for keeping his Olympic hopes alive after his chances appeared to have been ended by illness.

The Chelsea forward was diagnosed with viral meningitis a fortnight ago, but recovered sufficiently to play 45 minutes of Friday's 2-0 friendly defeat by Brazil in Middlesbrough. Sturridge's involvement led former England defender Pearce to confirm the 22-year-old is set to retain his place in an 18-man squad.

"I'm very happy," said Sturridge. "It's been a long road for me to get back and I've had to go through a lot of stuff over these last couple of weeks.

"Thanks to the manager for being patient and waiting for me to get fit and thanks to the Chelsea doctor for being there for me when I was going through everything. It's been difficult because for two weeks I wasn't doing anything, so to get 45 minutes under my belt was crucial and I'm happy."

It's been a long road for me to get back and I've had to go through a lot of stuff over these last couple of weeks.
Team GB forward Daniel Sturridge

Although goals from Sandro and Neymar was enough to see Brazil beat Great Britain on Friday, Sturridge's strike partner Craig Bellamy predicted better things for Team GB in the tournament proper, where Pearce's men start against Senegal.

"This was our first competitive game after 13 days and they don't come much harder than Brazil," said Bellamy. "Brazil have been building this team for a year and a half, so we knew what we were up against. But we have another game in six days and the next six days are going to be important for us.

"We got our foot on the ball and tried to play. We have a lot of good footballers in our team, but in the final third, that's what we need and why the next six days are important for us. Come the Senegal game we will be a lot stronger. We have to realise we are 13 days in to the season, so physically we are improving and we will improve."