England squad announcement: Roy Hodgson says he still has a 'good relationship' with Raheem Sterling

Sterling was controversially omitted after Hodgson revealed his 'tiredness' last month

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The Independent Football

Roy Hodgson has said that he will drop any player who is too tired to train as a matter of course, after Raheem Sterling’s controversial omission from the team to face Estonia last month.

The England manager said that he would not make any exceptions, after Sterling complained of tiredness in the training session before the Euro 2016 qualifier against Estonia. In the fall-out to the issue, Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers disputed Hodgson’s version of events.

Hodgson said: “If a player came up to me one day before the game, when I was intending to play him, just before the session started, and said to me: ‘I don’t think I can train today because I’m feeling too tired’ then I would definitely leave him out. Does that answer your question?”

The England manager has still not spoken to Rodgers about the Sterling tiredness episode but says that he has a good relationship with the Liverpool manager. “I get on well with him,” he said. “I like him. We have a good relationship. I cannot stop you from doing something different. You ask me what our relationship is and I think it is very good. He was asked the same in a TV interview and he said the same about me.”

Hodgson selected Sterling in his squad for the Euro 2016 qualifier against Slovenia a week on Saturday and Scotland in Glasgow three days’ later. Hodgson said that Rodgers was “wrong” to dispute his version of the events in which Sterling complained of tiredness at a training session at the Grove hotel in Hertfordshire before the team travelled to Estonia.

“Unfortunately I have 30 witnesses to that extent and Brendan was not there. If that all it is, he got the wrong end of the stick and I would be happy to put him right and I would be happy to talk to him about it. You surprise me. He was not there. He came just before we started training.

“I never said that Raheem said he was too tired to play. He did play and got us the free-kick which won the game. I said he said he was too tired before training and as a result I left him out of the team.

“I talk to Raheem all the time, I feel very, very sad about that. It’s past. You’re trying to bring it up again. I understand that. But as far as I’m concerned it’s past. Raheem and I are fine, I think my relationship with Brendan is fine, though some are disputing that, but I feel our relationship is fine.

He added: “Raheem Sterling is excellent, I think he’s an outstanding player. I saw Steven Gerrard quoted as saying that he thinks he’s going to be one of the top class England players of the future so of course I felt sorry for him that this happened. It’s happened, it’s gone and we move on. We hope he helps us win the next two games.”

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