DANIEL Sturridge can fire Wanderers back to winning ways, according to Zat Knight.

The on-loan striker has been an instant hit after scoring twice in two games since arriving from Chelsea.

Wanderers are believed to have opened talks with the Londoners about keeping Sturridge at the Reebok next season as well.

Knight believes the 21-year-old has added an extra dimension to the team since joining on transfer deadline day – and can help Owen Coyle’s side recover from their defeat at Tottenham in Sunday’s home clash with Everton.

“Daniel is a fantastic prospect,” said the big defender. “He’s scored two goals in two games – and he's only trained with us two or three times.

“He wants the ball at his feet. You could see against Spurs he was trapping the ball, turning and getting at the defenders. Sometimes we need that type of player.

“It was good to have Johan Elmander on the right hand side and have three strikers on the pitch. There were a lot of options and I think Daniel was fantastic.

“It was only the second time he'd played 90 minutes in a very long time. He was exhausted but I think he'll show us his class again on Sunday.”

Sturridge, who came off the substitutes’ bench to score the winner against Wolves before hitting the target again three days later at White Hart Lane on his full debut, was one of nine players to have pulled out of England’s Under-21 squad for this afternoon’s friendly in Italy with a slight knock.

The injury is not thought to be serious and the former Manchester City ace will be fit for the visit of Everton.

And, if reports are to be believed, Coyle now wants Sturridge to extend his loan stay past the end of the season after opening talks with parent club Chelsea.

With Johan Elmander free to walk away for nothing in the summer after failing to agree a new deal, Coyle would love to keep the Birmingham-born forward for another 12 months - but any decision would rest with Sturridge and the Stamford Bridge outfit.

Knight, meanwhile, admits Wanderers’ run of just one win in seven Premier League games as hit the dressing room hard - but insists there are plenty of positives to take from the performances against Wolves and Spurs.

The 30-year-old said: “The boys are really hurt. There has been a dip over Christmas and January and we haven't reached the heights we did at the start of the season.

“I don't think we can be too down. The win and the clean sheet against Wolves was big for us and I think the performance on Saturday was too.

“If we can carry on with that kind of performance for the next 13 or 14 games, then I think we can reclaim some of those points.”

Fabrice Muamba is expected to start for England U21s in Empoli, while Wanderers reserves face Manchester City in the league at the Leyland’s County Ground tonight.