Liverpool boss Rodgers backed over decision to rest Sterling

England Under-21 coach Brian Eastick believes that the young Anfield star is benefiting from his club manager’s choice to withdraw him from first-team action in recent weeks

Brendan Rodgers’ decision to withhold Raheem Sterling from first-team action at Liverpool in recent weeks has helped the player, according to England Under-21 coach Brian Eastick.

The 18-year-old winger has enjoyed a breakthrough season so far, scoring three goals and adding two assists in 35 appearances for the Merseyside club.

In view of this abundance of action, Rodgers elected late last month to rest Sterling, emphasising the need to ‘nurture’ his talent, although the winger put in an impressive performance for the Young Lions against Romania on Thursday night.

Speaking to ESPN after the game, coach Eastick commented: “He was very good. Brendan has obviously rested him a little bit recently.

“He hasn’t played a great deal of football of late so getting a game under his belt with benefit him.

“He is a talented player and I think possibly that rest has helped. Brendan felt he had to take him out of the firing line a little bit at Liverpool.”

England ran out 3-0 winners on the night, as the Romanians struggled to contain both the pace and interplay between Sterling and teammate Wilfried Zaha.

Eastick added of Sterling: “He is a very young player and people forget how young he is.

“You do need to rest players at the right time. Possibly it has done him a little bit of good and he enjoyed his game against Romania. His performance was very good.”

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