Date: 14th September 2014 at 7:27pm
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Brendan Rodgers has defended his decision to rest Raheem Sterling for yesterday’s 1-0 home defeat to Aston Villa, reports Sky Sports.

The 19-year-old was expected to start, having scored two goals in the Reds first three Premier League matches of the season, and having impressed once again for England during the international break.

But Rodgers opted to start the youngster on the bench in favour of giving home debuts to a front three of Adam Lallana, Mario Balotelli and Lazar Markovic.

But the Northern Irishman has defended his decision to wait until the hour mark to introduce the 19-year-old to the action.

“We have an exciting couple of months and this was a game I felt we could do that,” the boss said.

“If he didn’t have international football then it would have been the case.

“He is a big player for us but we have built a squad here where I have to trust all the players but as a team and a squad we didn’t deliver.

“He will certainly play on Tuesday night.”

The starting XI yesterday included five summer signings, but Rodgers insisted the new players were not the reason the Reds slipped to their second defeat of the season.

“We had new players against Tottenham and we were outstanding,” he said.

“The players we have brought in are very good players and I am delighted with them but we just failed to open Villa up.

“We just lacked that bit of quality. We have seen many games here where we ended up with 15-20 shots on target but that didn’t happen.

“There is nothing better than to get going again on Tuesday night in a competition we love.

“Hopefully we can start that competition with three points.”