England manager Roy Hodgson has said he believes Raheem Sterling needs to develop a “thicker skin” after England’s 0-0 draw with the Republic of Ireland on Sunday, reports Sky Sports.
The 20-year-old winger struggled to re-produce his early-season form in the latter half of his Premier League campaign with Liverpool and is now struggling in an England shirt too.
The want-away forward has struggled since he made it clear he would not be signing a new Reds deal.
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Hodgson has admitted if Sterling is to succeed at international level he will need to develop a stronger mental attitude towards the abuse that clearly affected him against Ireland.
"I think he's going through a bad time publicly," Hodgson said. "You can't expect people just to shrug off the criticism he has been receiving.
"He does ever so well and tries well to shrug it off, let his football do the talking.
"He needed this game to realise that, if he is going to get it out of his system, he's going to have to work harder still and get a thicker skin than he has at the moment.”
Looking for a way out
The Jamaican-born winger has scored seven league goals in 31 games this season in what has turned out to be a torrid campaign for him at the club.
Despite both his club and international manager sticking by him, Liverpool are expected to accept any bid for the forward in excess of £30m this summer.
Sterling is expected to start against Slovenia in England’s European Championship Qualifier on Sunday.
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