herald

Monday 23 October 2017

Lampard backs Sterling

Former England midfielder Frank Lampard has been "upset" by some of the criticism aimed at Raheem Sterling this week.

Sterling did not start England's Euro 2016 qualifying win in Estonia on Sunday after telling manager Roy Hodgson that he felt tired.

Hodgson's decision to make this conversation public has prompted a huge debate, with the player himself having both his fitness and commitment questioned in some quarters.

Lampard feels it is unfair to turn on the 19-year-old, who is still early in his career and still to develop physically.

Lampard, a team-mate of Sterling's at the World Cup last summer, told BBC Radio Five Live: "I think he is actually quite a brave boy to say, 'You know what I am not quite at my best here'.

"I am actually quite upset, not with the manager as such, but that the aftermath has been a lot of people criticising Raheem Sterling - who is probably in the top two or three players in our country and we need him to be at his best - for making quite a brave decision.

"I think we need to get behind him - he made that call."

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