Brendan Rodgers insists that Liverpool did not pressurize Roy Hodgson to rest Raheem Sterling last weekend.
Speaking to The Independent 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 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 claimed previously there were a number of occasions at Liverpool when Sterling had revealed the fact that he was fatigued, but the decision whether he played in a game was always taken out of his hands.”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 told. “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. It’s been grossly unfair how Sterling has been put in the back pages for something he clearly didn’t say.”
“He’s back here in a secure environment and the last couple of days he has been back to normal. He was excellent in training this morning and working really well. I’ve been very fortunate to work with a brilliant young player here. He’s been absolutely incredible for me and his maturity has been really nice to see. I hope he will be a key player for England and for Liverpool.I’ve had a number of players tell me they were tired and you have to respect Roy’s decision.”
“The best players cannot play every single game at the very top. You can break young players and, at the age of 26, 27, their careers will be over. Every individual player is different but the number of injuries don’t surprise me.”
Sterling’s apparent tiredness became a major issue after England’s victory in Estonia with Roy Hodgson questioning Liverpool’s fitness regime and two-day recovery program.