Date: 17th October 2014 at 9:45am
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Brendan Rodgers has leapt to the defence of Raheem Sterling, insisting the 19-year-old did not refuse to play for England due to tiredness, reports the Independent.

Sterling has come in for criticism on social media following Roy Hodgson’s claim the forward was ‘complaining of feeling tired’, prior to England’s 1-0 win over Estonia.

But Rodgers has hit back at the England boss, and launched a passionate defence of his player.

Rodgers said: “I’m fed up reading about this club v country row, claims we intervened and put pressure on Roy Hodgson.

“I’ve read we sent dossiers to the FA [Football Association] on Raheem Sterling and Daniel Sturridge and I’m having showdown talks with Roy Hodgson on Sunday and all sorts of rubbish. The decision not to play him was a managerial decision. I haven’t said a single word but have to say I have never seen such rubbish written over the last few days.
“At no point did Raheem Sterling say he didn’t want to play for England. The boy is being hung out to dry and I dare say the criticism will continue for a few more weeks to come because of this.”
Rodgers admitted that Sterling had told him previously he was feeling tired before matches, but the young forward has never refused to play, leaving the decision in the hands of the manager.
“Let me tell you, there have been at least five occasions in the past when Raheem has said he felt tired before games but he’s never refused to play,” Rodgers said.

“We have taken on board what he has said and taken a decision accordingly. I rested him against Aston Villa and we lost the game. But it was our decision to do so – and our decision alone.

“Last season he said he felt tired before the Manchester City game. We won 3-2 and he put in a man-of-the-match performance.

“The point I’m making is you have to take on board advice from your own people and make your own decision, right or wrong.”

Hodgson questioned Liverpool’s two day recovery programme for faster players following the incident on Sunday, saying: “Raheem might say it is something that is becoming ingrained in him and that he felt the need to talk about being tired more than he would normally do.”


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