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Henderson backs Sterling after booing

Jordan Henderson has backed his England and Liverpool team-mate Raheem Sterling to ride out the storm surrounding his contract dispute.

Liverpool cancelled contract talks with Sterling during the final week of the season after his representative Aidy Ward allegedly told the London Evening Standard his client would not sign a new contract with the club even if they offered him £900,000 a week.

The Liverpool fans in the home end of the Aviva Stadium in Dublin made their feelings about Sterling known yesterday during England's dull 0-0 draw against the Republic of Ireland.

The 20-year-old was booed every time he touched the ball and was substituted in the 65th minute following a poor display.

Roy Hodgson is concerned the player is not tough enough to deal with the abuse he receives, but Henderson has no such doubts.

"He is so strong-minded, and it will make him a stronger person and make him better," said Henderson, who won his 21st England cap in Dublin.

"He deals with it (the abuse) very well. I don't think he lets that bother him at all."

The England manager revealed his doubts about Sterling after the match.

"I think he's going through a bad time publicly," Hodgson said. "You can't expect people just to shrug off the criticism he has been receiving.

"He does ever so well and tries well to shrug it off, let his football do the talking."