Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard: Be patient with Raheem Sterling
Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard calls on fans and media not to pile too much pressure on England youngster Raheem Sterling
Steven Gerrard has urged the media and fans not to pile too much pressure on Raheem Sterling after the Liverpool teenager was called into Roy Hodgson’s England squad to face Ukraine.
Sterling has joined Adam Lallana and Jake Livermore in Hodgon’s team following Theo Walcott’s withdrawal due to illness and question marks over Daniel Sturridge’s fitness after the Chelsea forward missed training on Monday after suffering from stomach cramps.
And although Gerrard, who has played alongside Sterling this season as the 17-year-old broke into Brendan Rodgers’ first-team, admits he is excited by the crop of new English talent coming through, the captain has called for patience as the young stars develop.
“I think the important thing is that you guys [the media] are patient with them as well and we don’t try and rush them,” said Gerrard.
“They’ve got all the tools to become fantastic young players but let’s not build them up and put too much pressure on them, let them progress and become good players naturally.
“I am the same when I watch these players. I play with Raheem every day and he excites me every day, so I get carried away at times as well.
“They’re only young boys, they’ve got many years ahead of them and they are going to become fantastic players but it’s important we don’t build them up too soon.”
Sterling has started both of Liverpool’s last two league games, playing the full 90 minutes against Manchester City and Arsenal.