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FOOTBALL: Sterling brave to sit out England game, says sport psychologist

Published:Monday | October 13, 2014 | 2:43 PM
Raheem Sterling - AP

A sport psychologist says Jamaica-born Raheem Sterling made a brave decision to sit out England's Euro 2016 qualifying win over Estonia yesterday.



The 19-year-old Sterling has played more than 3,000 minutes of football in 2014.



The Liverpool midfielder was used as a substitute in the Group E match after telling boss Roy Hodgson he was tired.



Birmingham University's Dr Jennifer Cumming says to see the player acknowledge he would struggle to make an impact is a very brave move.



The chartered psychologist says it is rare for current players to admit to fatigue, and that getting players to speak about the strains of the game is an obstacle football has not tackled yet.



Sterling came on in the 64th minute for club-mate Jordan Henderson.



He was then fouled and the subsequent free-kick taken by captain Wayne Rooney proved the only goal of the game to maintain England's 100 perfect record in the group.



Meanwhile, former England captain Rio Ferdinand has defended Raheem Sterling's request to sit out England's 1-0 win over Estonia yesterday because of fatigue.



Ferdinand says more English players should follow the 19-year-old's lead as it would benefit the national team.



The teenager responded to criticisms from fans by tweeting: "Excuse me for being human. On my way home."



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