Rodgers sticks up for Sterling

Published: Friday 17th October 2014 by The News Editor

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Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has leapt to the defence of Raheem Sterling, but insists there is no club versus country row between him and England manager Roy Hodgson.

The 19-year-old forward has found himself pilloried in the last week after Hodgson revealed the youngster had told him he was tired ahead of the Euro 2016 qualifier in Estonia.

Sterling was left out of the team for that match, coming off the bench to win the free-kick from which Wayne Rooney scored the only goal, which led to accusations he had said he did not want to play.

Rodgers totally rejected those accusations.

“I’ve obviously read and listened to a lot of what has been said,” said the Reds boss, who went out of his way to congratulate England on their two qualifying victories – something he said had been lost in the Sterling fall-out.

“He (Sterling) has been absolutely incredible for me and what has been nice to see is his maturity as a young man; he’s 19, a full international and he will hopefully be a key player for England and Liverpool for many years.

“This is a kid we bring up to be responsible and honest – lots of players will tell you they haven’t played when they haven’t felt right but this is a kid who didn’t say that.

“What he was saying was he felt tired. I’ve had it a number of times here with Raheem where he has been tired in his legs but he has gone on to play in games and be exceptional.

“What you do as a manager is take on board all the information from the specialists around you and you make your decision.

“You have to respect Roy’s decision that he decide not to play him and play Adam Lallana.

“What has been disappointing in the whole affair is it has been grossly unfair how the kid has been put on the back pages for something he clearly did not say.

“For a couple of days it probably shook him a little bit but he was brilliant in training this morning.”

Published: Friday 17th October 2014 by The News Editor

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