‘He’s definitely matured as player and person’: Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson is proud of Raheem Sterling as Manchester City star combats racism
- Roy Hodgson gave Raheem Sterling his first start for Liverpool in a friendly
- Hodgson didn’t get to work with him for much longer as he was sacked
- But Hodgson coached him again once he became England manager in 2012
Roy Hodgson says he is proud of Raheem Sterling and how he has matured into someone who has become a chief spokesperson in combating racism.
Hodgson gave Sterling his first start for Liverpool in a pre-season friendly against Borussia Monchengladbach in August 2010.
Sterling, aged 15 at the time, came on for the final few minutes. Hodgson didn’t get to work with him for much longer as he was sacked the following January but coached him again once he became England manager in 2012.
Roy Hodgson says he is proud of Raheem Sterling and how he has matured as a person
He has watched on with pride at how Sterling – who will visit Selhurst Park on Sunday with Manchester City – has developed on and off the pitch.
‘He’s definitely matured as player and person,’ said Hodgson, who also gave Sterling his full England debut against Sweden seven years ago. ‘He’s taken a lot of responsibility lately to stand up and become a spokesman for the discrimination we’re experiencing.’
Hodgson has always been an admirer of the 24-year-old’s movement and pace but is most impressed with how many goals he has scored. Twenty five in all competitions this season with 15 coming in the Premier League, three in the Champions League and four for England.
Sterling – who will visit Selhurst Park with Manchester City – has developed on and off the pitch
‘No doubt he’s scoring goals,’ said Hodgson. ‘In the beginning that was a criticism levelled at him which was a fair one.
‘You couldn’t do that now, he’s scoring lots of goals, he’s benefitted I think from playing with the quality of players around him at Man City,
‘He’s got a very good coach who’s helping him, Man City and England are seeing the benefits of him, I can only take my hat off to him to the progress that he’s made and it’s down to him and his hard work.
‘I hope I can say these nice things and he’ll be nice and quiet and won’t torment us.’
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