Still believes Hodgson made his point over Sterling

John Still

John Still

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Hatters boss John Still believes England manager Roy Hodgson revealed that Raheem Sterling was left out the starting line-up against Estonia in the European Championship qualifier on Sunday to make a point.

The England chief stated after the game that the Liverpool teenager had told he him he was feeling tired after playing 45 minutes against San Marino on Friday night.

Still also felt the situation was only being discussed publicly because of the previous clash between Hodgson and Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers over striker Daniel Sturridge.

He added: “Do players get tired? Of course they do, but we all get tired. If I get tired tomorrow am I not going to come to work? Of course I’m going to come to work, its my job.

“It’s funny how it’s never come up really until the Liverpool England situation because of the injury to Sturridge has it.

“Should they have a thing of warming down for two days, I’ve got no opinion on that.

“But a professional footballer who gets every help possible, particularly at that level, I’m not sure would be too tired to play for England in a European Cup qualifier.

“I don’t know Roy Hodgson, but what I would think was if someone had said to him and said excuse me gaffer, I’m desperate to play, I’m not sure I can quite do my best, I don’t feel quite as good as I should do, I don’t think he’d have put that in the newspaper that he was tired.

“I think this is a club, country, Liverpool thing, that’s how I see it. Because if I had a player that came to me, and said I’m desperate to play, I want to play, but just letting you know, I’m not as sharp as I should as I’ve had a bit of a cold, I’d take that into account.

“And if I didn’t play him, I wouldn’t go into the newspaper and say he’s too tired to play, so I think Roy Hodgson in my opinion has made a point.”

On the debate about tiredness amongst young players though, Still felt that sportsman were treated differently to those who work everyday jobs.

He continued: “It’s really weird, I’ve got a pal and his son, that get up and I hear the diesel engine go on at half past four every morning, outside my house.

“They go down the market, get home about four, he goes to the gym, then goes out with his girlfriend in the evening, not the dad, the boy.

“Whenever I see him, he’s running up the shop or running back. He plays football on a Saturday with his mates, plays football on a Sunday with his mates, ask him if he’s tired.

“I don’t see it, I really don’t. Can it have an affect on a young man training every day, of course it can. Having no summer break, can it have an affect on a young man, absolutely it can, but my mate’s son has two weeks away then he’s got to back to work

“And although he might be tired, he’s still got to go back to work and perform at his best, so we treat sport a little bit different from the mainstream.

“I hear the expression sometimes he’s a good lad, but you’ve got to put your arm round him.

“So if I had two young lads building an extension for me and I go and look at it and it’s all over the place and one says I’ve been a bit tired, am I going to go ‘oi you’, or am I going to put my arm round him and say don’t worry about it, it doesn’t matter, it does matter.

“The tiredness has to be managed absolutely but would he be tired if he was playing in the World Cup Final against Brazil? I don’t think he would have done.

“These are very, very fit young men. Is he tired? Yes. Should that stop him playing? I don’t think so.”

Meanwhile, former Millwall and Gillingham striker Tony Cascarino, who won 88 international caps for Ireland, was also present at the press conference and when asked for his opinion by Still, said: “If you have a state of mind that makes you think like that, you’re probably going to use that as an excuse. John touched on it, it’s always an easy get out.

“Did I play in my career and feel tired? Yes. What did you do? Worked harder.

“I used to sit next to (Teddy) Sheringham and go, I feel shattered Ted. He’d look at me and say, so what are you saying, you going to be poor today?

“It would make me immediately think, no I’m not going to be, because I never heard in three four years playing with him, him say he was tired.

“And he had reasons to be tired as he did what John said. He would train, go and play golf after training, go out in the night, stay out, sometimes all night and he’d tell me that.

“Then he’d come in in training and he’d be buzzing in training, his mentality was where he got that from.”