Liverpool’s Brendan Rodgers hails revitalized Raheem Sterling
Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers says his decision to send Raheem Sterling on holiday to Jamaica has brought the 20-year-old back revitalized after his superb goal earned the Reds a 1-1 draw against Chelsea.
Sterling, who before the Premier League round of fixtures on January 10 had played more minutes than any other outfield player in the league, struck before the hour mark in the Capital One Cup semi-final first leg.
And Rodgers says the rest, which he said was more a mental break than physical, showed on Tuesday night.
He told Sky Sports: "He’s a very young talent, but you can see tonight he’s fresh.
"Sometimes as a manager you have to look at each individual player, and he’s come back refreshed and ready for a big second half to the season.
"It was not a physical rest, more a mental rest for a young player that has had so much thrown on him.
"This is about the boy’s life and his career, plenty of people will probably comment on it, but I’m only worried what we do for the kid."
Rodgers’ side dominated at Anfield but couldn’t find a winner to take to Stamford Bridge, but the Northern Irishman says Liverpool can open Chelsea up in the return leg.
"I’m delighted with the performance but disappointed with the result. We thoroughly deserved to win the game.
"It sets up the second leg perfectly because they’re at home and have probably got to open up a little bit.
"It was a great game, two big teams really fighting to get an advantage. But I was really pleased by our performance because that again shows the improvement we are making."
The teams meet at Stamford Bridge for the second leg on January 27.