• World Cup

Don't lose your head, Hodgson warns Sterling

ESPN staff
June 19, 2014
Can England beat Uruguay?

Roy Hodgson has warned Raheem Sterling to keep his cool in Sao Paulo as England prepare for their Group D crunch clash against Uruguay.

Sterling was sent off for an over-enthusiastic challenge on Antonio Valencia in England's World Cup warm-up match with Ecuador and Hodgson has told the 19-year-old he must not lose his head should Luis Suarez and co choose to employ underhand tactics.

Ox rejoins the herd

  • Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is not ready to play any part in England's crunch clash with Uruguay in Sao Paulo, Roy Hodgson has confirmed.
  • Oxlade-Chamberlain has been making good progress in his recovery from a knee injury he suffered in England's final World Cup warm-up match, having returned to training with the rest of the squad, but with the final group game against Costa Rica in mind, Hodgson is not willing to risk playing the attacker until he is fully fit.
  • "He is not in contention for tomorrow, but he will take part in the next four training sessions," Hodgson said.
  • "We could have taken a chance with him tomorrow, but it would be much better if he uses the four days after this game and before the Costa Rica game to train with the team.
  • "Fortunately for us, his injury has responded really well to treatment but I don't think we will put him into the firing line tomorrow before he has had some training sessions with the team."

"I've had a word with Raheem, of course," Hodgson said. "I've got to say I thought it was a very reckless challenge [on Valencia] and under the current interpretation he deserved to be sent off.

"He didn't do it maliciously. We all know that. He'd just come on the field, was bursting with energy and flew into this challenge.

"To be frank I had every sympathy with Antonio Valencia. We were a week away from the World Cup and he was a victim of that sort of tackle.

"He's a human being and I don't think anybody could have turned his back on that and smiled it off."

Both sides are desperate for victory after Uruguay suffered a shock loss to Costa Rica in their opening game and England were beaten 2-1 by Italy last Saturday.

Sunderland manager Gus Poyet claims Uruguay would use any means necessary to ensure victory, and England's Daniel Sturridge says he would "do anything" to win, too - except cheating.

However, Hodgson believes Sterling has learned his lesson and backed his attacker to stay calm should the pressure rise to fever pitch against Oscar Tabarez's side.

Back Sturridge for a repeat performance

"Raheem was devastated by it, devastated that his exuberance caused that situation [against Ecuador]," Hodgson said.

"In some ways you could argue it was a nice early lesson for us. He won't do it again."

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