Brendan Rodgers has responded angrily to accusations Liverpool put pressure on coach Roy Hodgson to rest Raheem Sterling for England’s Euro 2016 qualifier against Estonia on Sunday.
The 19-year-old was named in the starting line-up the previous Thursday for the 5-0 drubbing of international lightweights San Marino but was then left on the bench against the Estonians because Hodgson said he told him he was “a bit tired”.
The Anfield livewire did come off the bench at A. Le Coq Arena in Tallinn to win the free-kick for Wayne Rooney to score the only goal of the game but a rift over the decision to leave out Sterling has since emerged.
Rodgers insisted it was Hodgson’s decision alone not to start with Sterling and denied his club had leaned on the England coach.
“I’m fed up reading about this club v country, claims we intervened and put pressure on Roy Hodgson,” Rodgers told The Independent.
“I’ve read we sent a dossier 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 past few days.”
Rodgers revealed Sterling and Liverpool had been stung by accusations that the teenager asked to be left out against minnows Estonia.
“At no point did Raheem Sterling say he didn’t want to play for England,” the Anfield boss added.
“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.”
England are currently priced 1.08 by Dafabet to qualify from Group E to make Euro 2016 in France.