Hodgson keen to play down hype around England new boy Sterling

Roy Hodgson intends to speak with Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling after drafting him into an injury-hit England squad, as the national team manager is keen to prevent the teenager buying into the attention surrounding him following his Premier League debut, the Daily Telegraph has reported.

Sterling has forced his way into the plans of new Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers and impressed in the Reds’ last few fixtures before the international break. Rodgers however persuaded the Football Association not to include Sterling in the U-21 squad, feeling it was a step too far too soon, only for Hodgson to name Sterling as one of three replacement call-ups to the senior side after injury and illness reduced the options at hand.

Hodgson however acknowledged his part in creating the hype around Sterling by naming the 17-year-old with Southampton midfielder Adam Lallana and Tottenham Hotspur’s Jake Livermore as his trio of new faces following Theo Walcott’s departure from the squad with a stomach bug.

He said: “We’re talking about a young and precocious talent. It’s meteoric, his rise, and we’re all concerned about the importance of dampening expectations for him as much as we can. I can’t stop people writing about him. It’s natural. I understand and take that responsibility.

When you bring in a young Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, or those for the Italy game [such as Tom Cleverley], and now Sterling, who’s even younger and has only burst on to the scene in the last couple of games, I’m causing headlines to be written,” Hodgson added.

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