Sturridge “deserves his chance” – boss

Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas has hinted that Daniel Sturridge will get the first-team opportunity he craves.

The striker, who ended last season on loan at Bolton, has made it clear he is desperate to succeed where other Blues youngsters have failed and establish himself as a regular starter.

Sturridge has been excellent during pre-season and further boosted his chances of a run in the Chelsea side by scoring twice as they came from behind to beat Rangers 3-1 in a friendly.

“He has been showing his quality and we will count on him this season with a different perspective,” Villas-Boas declared.

“He has been sparkling in this pre-season. That is nothing new – it is what he was doing for Bolton – and he deserves his chance.”

Sturridge showed his predatory instincts by pouncing on two defensive mistakes by the Scottish champions.

Nikica Jelavic opened the scoring with a sixth-minute header from Steven Naismith’s cross.

But Sturridge fired fired home the equaliser after the Rangers defence failed to deal with Fernando Torres’ cross, and he then robbed Kirk Broadfoot before smashing past keeper Allan McGregor at the near post.

Didier Drogba set up Florent Malouda to head in Chelsea’s third and after Drogba was then upended by Juan Manuel Ortiz inside the area, McGregor saved Frank Lampard’s penalty.

The result maintained Chelsea’s 100% pre-season record, but they have concerns over the fitness of midfielder John Mikel Obi, who limped off shortly before half-time with an ankle problem.

Villas-Boas said: “We will evaluate him. He had a knock that he suffered in training, and he had an injection to avoid the pain. But it was getting pretty nasty so we decided to take him off.”