MX23RW : Friday, September 21 02:39:27

Glen Johnson: 'Raheem Sterling didn't say he was tired'

Glen Johnson backs Liverpool and England teammate Raheem Sterling by saying that the youngster told Roy Hodgson that he felt muscle tightness, not that he was tired.

Glen Johnson has defended his England and Liverpool colleague Raheem Sterling by claiming that the youngster never told Roy Hodgson that he was tired.

According to the England manager, Sterling said that he was tired and asked to be rested for his country's 1-0 victory over Estonia last weekend.

However, Johnson has said that Sterling merely responded to a question by saying that he felt some tightness in his thighs.

"Raheem was asked a question and he gave an honest answer," Johnson told the Mirror. "Now, it seems, he is getting punished for it. You learn very quickly in football that you can be too honest sometimes.

"Raheem didn't say he was tired, as has been claimed. He was asked a question about how he was feeling and he has said that his thighs were tight. There is a big difference between having aching muscles and actually saying to the manager 'I'm tired, I can't play.'

"Anyone with half a brain would know that's not the case. Raheem would play every week if he could. In hindsight, the whole thing could have been handled better. Instead, it has just added fuel to a situation."

Johnson has recently returned from a lengthy injury and could start his first game of the season when Liverpool travel to Queens Park Rangers tomorrow.

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England manager Roy Hodgson (L) talks to midfielder Raheem Sterling at the A.Le Coq Arena in Tallinn, Estonia on October 11, 2014
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