England manager Roy Hodgson: Raheem Sterling needs “thicker skin” after booing

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England drew Ireland, 0-0, in a drab friendly match today, and Raheem Sterling didn’t shine his brightest, prompting heckling from the Ireland faithful at Aviva Stadium in Dublin.

Sterling’s agent has made it known that his client wants out of Liverpool, and even went so far as to say a $1.4 million-a-week salary would not entice the 20-year-old.

In the wake of these public demands to exit, manager Brendan Rodgers was adamant that the midfielder would “behave immaculately” to see out the remaining two years of his contract.

Nonetheless, no signs have surfaced lately that the stubbornness of England’s young star will dissipate. And in addition to his weak end-of-the-year form, the booing from fans has summed up the difficult final weeks for the winger.

Hodgson uttered this feeling to the press following the game and backed Sterling as an important piece to England’s national team.

Per Sky Sports:

“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. He needed this game to realise that, if he is going to get it out of his system, he’s going to have work harder still and get a thicker skin than he has at the moment.”

“I have no reservations (about Sterling). I trust him…”But players are not robots. He’s done some fantastic things for us, but today he didn’t hit those heights.

Sterling has clearly displayed his jaw-dropping talent during the course of the 2014-15 season, but if a player desires to leave any club, no matter how gifted he is, it’s up to the management to decide what’s best for the future.

Sterling has stated he wants to win a trophy, and with the fiercely close competition of the Premier League, no one team is guaranteed glory. But finalizing a transfer to a European giant like Real Madrid or Barcelona puts his playing time at risk.

If Sterling breaks down and restructures his contract to end up making more money, which seems unlikely at this point, his protesting must cease for the entirety of next season.