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Rodgers won't rush youngsters

Brendan Rodgers says Raheem Sterling and Jordon Ibe still have a long way to go to become established as Liverpool regulars.

Last Updated: 07/11/13 at 08:59 Post Comment

Raheem Sterling: Has struggled to reclaim his place in the Liverpool side

Raheem Sterling: Has struggled to reclaim his place in the Liverpool side

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Rodgers has always been keen to give young players an opportunity and Sterling made 36 senior appearances for the Reds last season, performing well enough to earn a first England cap.

However, he has found it difficult to reclaim his first-team place this season and, still aged just 18, Rodgers has vowed not to rush his development.

The Liverpool manager has told Sterling and fellow teenage winger Ibe that they must continue to work hard and if they show the right attitude their time will come.

"Jordon is only 17 years of age and even Raheem is only 18. We can't forget that," Rodgers told the Liverpool Echo.

"We don't want to rush these young players' development, even though we want young players to come through and we want to put them in the first team. We've done that over the course of the last year or so.

"But it is also important to understand that it comes at different stages for some players.

"Look at Raheem's progress and what he's done in the last year or so. He has propelled himself from a youth team and reserve player to an England player.

"But they still have a long way to go in their professional careers and at this stage we're just looking to manage that and make sure we nurture that for the future.

"They understand that if you are focused and playing well, then you will play, but in the modern game it can be difficult for young players to break through.

"Over the last year or so they have seen that they are going to get an opportunity and if they can devote their life, be professional and take the opportunities when they come then they are going to have an excellent chance.

"You just have to give them the time and understanding. There are not going to be too many 17 or 18-year-olds ready for the first team, but we want them to be at 20 or 21."

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