England boss Roy Hodgson keeps faith with Raheem Sterling

By Chris BevanBBC Sport in Dublin
England boss Roy Hodgson 'trusts' Raheem Sterling

England boss Roy Hodgson admits Raheem Sterling's situation at Liverpool has affected his form but says he will not lose faith in the forward.

Sterling has been criticised for wanting to leave the Reds and rejecting a £100,000-a-week contract with them.

The 20-year-old struggled to make an impact in England's 0-0 friendly draw with Republic of Ireland on Sunday.

"He is going through a bad time publicly but I have no reservations about playing him," Hodgson said.

"He has done some fantastic things for us. Against Ireland he maybe did not hit those heights but it will take a lot before I and the English national team lose faith in him."

Stat attack
Only Romania (7) have a current longer unbeaten run against England than Republic of Ireland (6, level with France and Netherlands).

Sterling was booed by some fans throughout the game in Dublin and was substituted after 65 minutes.

"I don't think you can expect people to just shrug off the sort of criticism he has been receiving," added Hodgson, whose side play Slovenia in a Euro 2016 qualifier next weekend.

"I think he has done ever so well because he tries very hard to shrug it off and let his football do the talking.

"He probably needed this game to realise that if he is actually going to get it fully out of his system he is going to have to work even harder still, and he is going to have to get an even thicker skin than maybe he has got at the moment.

"But the reason I took him off was not because I was particularly dissatisfied with his performance, it was to give other people a game."

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