11 October 2014 11:09
England manager Roy Hodgson insists he has no plans to rest Raheem Sterling in their Euro 2016 qualifier against Estonia on Sunday.
Sterling has become one of Hodgson’s first-choice regulars, but the manager, along with Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers, has been at pains to point out that the forward is still only 19 years of age and at risk of being burnt out.
The former Liverpool boss has already angered Rodgers this season after Daniel Sturridge missed a month of action due to a thigh injury sustained on international duty.
Hodgson substituted Sterling at half-time in Thursday’s 5-0 win over San Marino at Wembley, but says he sees no need to hold him back for Sunday’s Group E clash in Tallinn.
“We are conscious of managing the situation,” he said.
“When he shows signs of not being quite as sharp, not doing as well, trying too hard, that might be the moment we think we have to manage this and give him a break.
“I don’t think the situation will need managing until he shows signs of suffering from it.
“But that is not the case at the moment and I don’t think Liverpool need to worry. In the first half against San Marino he was a lively as he could have been.
“At half-time I said ‘I am taking you two off’ [Sterling and Jordan Henderson] and they looked a me like ‘don’t do that – we want to stay on’ and that is quite nice.”