Rodgers expected Sterling dip

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers says teenage winger Raheem Sterling's slump in form is 'to be expected', insisting he will not rush the youngster's progress.

Last Updated: 27/02/13 at 13:12 Post Comment

Raheem Sterling: Has had a breakthrough season at Liverpool

Raheem Sterling: Has had a breakthrough season at Liverpool

Sterling has enjoyed a breakthrough season at Anfield after making his senior debut in March last year, notching up 35 appearances so far this term.

His eye-catching performances also saw the 18-year-old called up to the senior England squad and he earned his first full cap in a friendly against Sweden in November.

However, Rodgers has not named Sterling in his starting line-up in the Premier League for six weeks as the youngster continues his development out of the limelight.

The manager believes it is to be expected that the winger's form has dipped in recent weeks as his first season at the top level takes its toll.

He said: "This is a kid we're talking about so we have to take a wee step back.

"It is so mentally and physically draining this league. It hurts experienced professionals and this boy has just stepped up from the Academy and played first-team football and earned a contract off that. We have to nurture that and at times he's got to have that mentality to keep learning.

"I was talking to him the other day about this, and if he didn't kick another ball this season he's had a good one. It's a very physically demanding league and what you're seeing now is more tiredness of the legs when before he could go up to people and take them on. That zip has gone and that's down to fatigue. Was that to be expected? Yes it was.

"He will have experienced that before but not in the limelight like it is now. He's made such an impact that everyone is looking at him now. But the job is to nurture him.

"He's started his career at first-team level way before many get the opportunity. He's still got lots of improvement to make in his game. Over the years we will look at his plan and development and act accordingly."

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I

sn'tthis strange. Last season we were worried that we were stuck with a Dinosaur in Moyes while Liverpool and Everton were disappearing into the distance with their young, spritely managerts, playing football from heaven. Progressive managers, they said. Managers who understand the modern game.........

HarryBoulton
Rodgers: The pressure's on

B

eing consistently and unrelentingly dog turd really takes it out of you. Try shadow boxing. That's what it's like watching Liverpool, punching thin air.

sinbadsdad
Neville: Reds need a rest

G

ood list, some crackers in there. For me, I'd have had Steve McManaman for Liverpool away at Celtic in the UEFA cup in 1997. I was in the ground that night and everyone kept screaming at him to make a pass, but he just kept going and going and going...brilliant, and in the dying minutes too.

uncle-muller
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