Lewington admits England concern over Sterling boo-boys

England's Raheem Sterling

Sterling has been heavily criticised by England fans, but could still have a role to play at this summer's European Championship.


England's Raheem SterlingEngland's Raheem Sterling has endured a disappointing Euro 2016 so far

England assistant boss Ray Lewington insists manager Roy Hodgson still has faith in Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling, despite concerns that intense criticism from the terraces is harming his confidence, the Daily Express has reported.

Sterling was overlooked for England's disappointing 0-0 draw with Slovakia after a lacklustre performance in the win over Wales, which saw him booed by his own fans shortly before being substituted at half-time.

England's Raheem Sterling reacts after missing a chance to scoreEngland's Raheem Sterling reacts after missing a chance to score against Wales

But despite not being a part of Hodgson's plans during Monday's game in St Etienne, he could prove an important part of England's bid to reach the quarter-finals of Euro 2016.

However, there is reportedly an acceptance in the England camp that lifting Sterling's shot confidence will be essential to ensure he returns to his best, with fans recently setting up a JustGiving page cheekily aimed at raising money to bring the 21-year-old home.

England manager Roy HodgsonEngland manager Roy Hodgson is reportedly unwilling to give up on Sterling

According to the Express, assistant boss Lewington told reporters: "It's not nice to see people like [Sterling] being booed - it does hurt.

"People think they earn loads of money and have no feelings - it's completely wrong.

"They are human beings, they feel things - particularly when they are young and trying to find their feet and it wasn't nice.

England fansEngland fans have been critical of Sterling's recent performances

"Young players do suffer for confidence sometimes and in the second game he looked as if he was slightly nervy and wasn't doing things he was doing in the first game."

But he insists the door is still open for Sterling to force his way into the reckoning for the last 16 tie with Iceland on Monday.

"We're going to try look after him and try to ease him back, don't rush him because we know there's a really good player there," he added.

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