Sheffield Wednesday: Liam Palmer defends Raheem Sterling

Raheem Sterling
Raheem Sterling
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Liam Palmer has leapt to the defence of under-fire Liverpool forward Raheem Sterling.

The 19-year-old has come in for plenty of criticism after England boss Roy Hodgson revealed he had asked not to start the Euro 2016 qualifier in Estonia due to tiredness.

When asked why Sterling was only used as a substitute in the laboured 1-0 win, Hodgson said: “He said, ‘I’m feeling tired, I’d rather sit this one out’.”

Hodgson added: “It was simple one. When he suggested he wasn’t 100 per cent in terms of fitness and recovery, it would have been foolish to leave a player like Adam Lallana, who is raring to go, out of the team.”

Sterling found himself abused on Twitter in the aftermath as plenty began to question why a young player needed rest after just eight weeks of the season.

But versatile Owls Academy product Palmer took to the social networking site to defend the player.

He wrote: “The level Sterling is playing at week in, week out, not only that but his level of performance every game for club and country, has been incredible.

“How much he is relied on for a 19-year-old speaks volumes of how good he is and any player, regardless of age, would struggle with fatigue, mentally as well as physically.

“Only he knows his own body and mind. After all, he is only a human being.”

Sterling has played a total of 1,450 minutes so far this season, a workload which has earned sympathy from people in the game.

Former England skipper Rio Ferdinand tweeted: “Sterling - tired, fair play to him. English players are normally too proud to do that unlike our foreign friends. #FreshWhenItMattersMost.

“If you want your team/players to play at their best when out there then ‘rest’ at the right times is an important element.”