Roy Hodgson Defends Decision to Rest 'Tired' Raheem Sterling

Raheem Sterling was benched as he said he felt exhausted in a Euro 2016 qualifier match which England barely won 1-0 against Estonia.

updated: October 13, 2014 09:14 IST
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England manager Roy Hodgson (L) talks to midfielder Raheem Sterling at the A.Le Coq Arena in Tallinn, Estonia.


Tallinn: Roy Hodgson insists Raheem Sterling's complaints about tiredness left him with no choice but to rest the Liverpool midfielder for England's spluttering 1-0 win over Estonia.

Sterling, 19, was dropped to the bench for Sunday's Euro 2016 qualifier after telling England manager Hodgson he felt below his best both mentally and physically during training 24 hours before kick-off in Tallinn.

But Hodgson's decision to go along with Sterling's wishes -- selecting Liverpool's Adam Lallana instead -- proved a significant problem as England laboured to break down Estonia, a lowly 81st in FIFA's world rankings, for long periods of a scrappy encounter, even after the hosts had captain Ragnar Klavan dismissed in the 48th minute.

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