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Rodgers backed over Sterling stance

ESPN staff
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Raheem Sterling has committed his long-term future to Liverpool © Getty Images
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England Under-21s coach Brian Eastick believes Raheem Sterling is benefiting from Brendan Rodgers' decision to rest him at Liverpool.

Sterling, 18, has enjoyed a fantastic breakthrough season and made his senior England debut in November, before signing a lucrative long-term deal at Anfield the following month.

He has already made 35 appearances for the Reds to date this campaign but has not featured for over a month after manager Rodgers felt the teenager was becoming jaded.

It was a move that has seemingly paid dividends, with the winger looking rejuvenated in England Under-21s' 3-0 defeat of Romania on Thursday night.

"He was very good," coach Eastick said. "Brendan has obviously rested him a little bit recently. He hasn't played a great deal of football of late so getting a game under his belt with benefit him.

"He is a talented player and I think possibly that rest has helped. Brendan felt he had to take him out of the firing line a little bit at Liverpool.

"He is a very young player and people forget how young he is. You do need to rest players at the right time. Possibly it has done him a little bit of good and he enjoyed his game against Romania. His performance was very good."

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