England manager and former Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson has refused to drop Raheem Sterling from his Three Lions side, despite the youngster’s thoroughly disappointing performance against the Republic of Ireland on Sunday.
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Sterling struggled to make an impact in Dublin while every touch he took was booed by the partisan supporters. The 20-year-old was eventually withdrawn just after the hour mark, as England were held to a dire 0-0 draw.
According to BBC Sport, Sterling has been criticised for wanting to leave the Reds and rejecting a £100,000-a-week contract with us. Hodgson admitted that Sterling could be forgiven for letting the situation get the better of him but insisted that he would not give up on the youngster.
“He is going through a bad time publicly but I have no reservations about playing him,” Hodgson said.
“He has done some fantastic things for us. Against Ireland he maybe did not hit those heights but it will take a lot before I and the English national team lose faith in him.”
Sterling was handed his Liverpool debut by Hodgson in August 2010, taking part in a friendly against Borussia Monchengladbach. However, he’d have to wait until March 2012 to make his first appearance for the Reds first-team, while we were under the stewardship of Kenny Dalglish.
Nonetheless, Hodgson and Sterling have maintained their relationship over the years and the England boss was clearly disappointed by the reception his player received.
“I don’t think you can expect people to just shrug off the sort of criticism he has been receiving,” added Hodgson, whose side play Slovenia in a Euro 2016 qualifier next weekend.
“I think he has done ever so well because he tries very hard to shrug it off and let his football do the talking.
“He probably needed this game to realise that if he is actually going to get it fully out of his system he is going to have to work even harder still, and he is going to have to get an even thicker skin than maybe he has got at the moment.
“But the reason I took him off was not because I was particularly dissatisfied with his performance, it was to give other people a game.”