Rodgers to quiz Sterling on drug taking claims

SoccerBy Kevin Palmer
Sterling starred for Liverpool in a win against Newcastle
Sterling starred for Liverpool in a win against Newcastle

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers confirmed he intends to remind Raheem Sterling of his responsibilities after reports claimed he was filmed inhaling the legal drug nitrous oxide in his home.

Sterling hit the headlines last weekend after he was filmed smoking from a shisha pipe and after he scored in Liverpool’s 2-0 win against Newcastle on Monday, Rodgers confirmed he will be speaking with his 20-year-old star about his conduct.

When asked by Sky Sports whether he would remind Sterling about the standards he expects from all of his Liverpool players, Rodgers responded: “I will do. Internally we will always look after these types of items.

“He is a young kid who is in the spotlight now so he knows the demands of being a top class player and a top class professional. It is not just on the field, it is off it as well. I will speak with him and we will move on."

He later added to those comments in his post match press briefing as he said: "For me it is something that when you are professional sportsperson at the top level of the game, I don't think it is something you should be doing. It is as simple as that.

"I will speak to him on it, to see what he says on it. As you can imagine, I have only seen this today.

"We want players here who are super-professional and focused on their football. I know he is. He very much is focused on his football and improving as a player.

"As I have said before, young players make mistakes. As long as they learn from them, that is what is important."

Sterling’s stunning goal sent Liverpool on their way to victory against Newcastle at Anfield, but the youngster was also guilty of some poor misses in the game as he continues to create a stir as his contract dispute with the club rumbles on.

He received a warm ovation from the Anfield faithful when he was taken off late on and Rodgers was full of praise for the winger who has turned down a £100,000-a-week deal to sign a new Liverpool contract.

“He is very valuable,” confirmed Rodgers of Sterling. “He is a kid who's non-stop, he wants to learn and improve himself. I thought he was outstanding tonight. Wonderful skill and ability for his goal. He will be disappointed he didn’t get three goals. He is always a threat.”

The win against Newcastle eased Liverpool back into fifth place in the Premier League, just four points behind faltering Manchester City with six games left to play.

"Manchester City have maybe opened up the door a wee bit and if we keep winning our games we will see what will happen but I am sure that there will be plenty of twists and turns to come still,” added Rodgers.

Meanwhile, Rodgers confirmed the he is hoping his lead striker Daniel Sturridge is fit to play in this weekend’s FA Cup semi-final against Aston Villa at Wembley, after he missed the Newcastle game through injury.

"He will hopefully be okay for the weekend. I will know more in the week," added Rodgers. "He feels reasonably fine so we are hoping by the middle of the week we will have an indication where he is at."