The 23 year old insists that Andre Villas-Boas' side need their old guard to help guide the younger players through the tests they will face.
"The disrespect I've seen towards the likes of JT and others is ridiculous. When times get hard, these are the sort of players who set up to the plate," Sturridge told the Daily Star Sunday.
"It's not just the younger players people should be looking at, thinking they're the exciting ones.
"Ashley Cole, JT, Lamps, Didier - these are the players which keep the team going. They are the heart of the team.
"They have been here a lot longer than I have, or any of the younger guys coming through have. They're the ones who are paving the way for us. I can only look up to them right now.
"The younger players wouldn't be able to perform when faced with adversity - because we're not used to it. It's a big change for us.
"But the older players have been through it. To have those players around the club makes your job so much easier."