Daniel Sturridge: 'Mario Balotelli is misunderstood'

Liverpool's Italian forward Mario Balotelli is pictured during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Hull City at the Anfield stadium in Liverpool, northwest England, on October 25, 2014
© Getty Images
Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge insists that teammate Mario Balotelli is sometimes "misunderstood".

Liverpool forward Daniel Sturridge has insisted that teammate Mario Balotelli is "misunderstood", following the criticism that he has received since joining the club.

The Italian striker has struggled for form in front of goal since moving back to the Premier League this summer, and came in for criticism after swapping his shirt at half time during a recent Champions League match.

The England international told talkSPORT: "Mario has been under the microscope. That will always be the case when you play for a big club. You are going to have a lot of eyes on you.

"Mario's a great guy, and he's misunderstood sometimes. A lot of people are harsh on him. I get on really with him though. I have nothing but good words to say about him. He's working hard on the training field. People have told me he's working tirelessly to play the way we play.

"It's difficult moving to a new club and having new teammates, it doesn't just click straight away. Everybody is helping him and he's playing well. Sometimes you don't get the breaks in terms of scoring goals. Every striker goes through times when they don't score."

Balotelli scored the equaliser during Liverpool's 2-1 win over Swansea City in the League Cup last night.

Liverpool's English striker Daniel Sturridge celebrates scoring his team's second goal during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Southampton at Anfield stadium in Liverpool, northwest England, on August 17, 2014
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