Sterling faces Rodgers talks over nitrous oxide allegations

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers says he will speak to Raheem Sterling after footage emerged of the England international apparently taking nitrous oxide

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND, UK (APRIL 13, 2015) (ITN) – Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers will speak to striker Raheem Sterling after footage emerged of the England international apparently taking nitrous oxide.

Images published on The Sun’s website appeared to show the 20-year-old Sterling passing out unconscious after taking the substance, which is described as a legal high.

Sterling, who scored the opening goal in Liverpool’s 2-0 victory over Newcastle United at Anfield on Monday (April 13), is currently stalling on a new contract and admitted recently that he had rejected a new 100,000 pounds ($146,660) a week deal.

“When you’re a professional sports person at the top of the game I don’t think it’s something you should be doing, it’s as simple as that. But I’ll speak to him on it, I owe him that respect to see what he says on it,” Rodgers told reporters after Liverpool’s victory over Newcastle.

“We want players here who are super professional, that are focused on their football, and I know he is. He’s very much focused on his football and improving as a player.

“Like I said before young players make mistakes and as long as they learn from them that’s what’s important.”

Over the weekend a picture also emerged of Sterling on social media where he appeared to be smoking from a shisha pipe.

Rodgers stressed that his team would give everything to qualify for the Champions League after the win which leaves them four points behind Manchester City in the Premier League.

With fourth-placed City reeling after Sunday’s defeat by Manchester United continued a torrid run in which the champions have lost six of their last eight games, Liverpool needed a win over Newcastle to retain hope of a Champions League spot.

Liverpool fans would have been excused for feeling a little jittery after back-to-back league defeats, but Raheem Sterling set Rodgers’s side on their way before Joe Allen scored a late second to close the gap on struggling City with six games left.

“We’re going to fight right to the very end,” Rodgers told reporters.

“We’re obviously on a great run, we’ve won 10 out of 13 games which has given us a chance. We’ve obviously two disappointing results and of course there’s always a crisis when you lose games and big games but we’re a group that’s very much learning.

“The players are really set, there’s obviously teams above us still and four points is the difference but as we’ve seen last year there still can be a lot of changes, and I still think there will be changes and points dropped in the last six games now and for us it’s just important that we can focus on getting wins and see where it takes you.”

If Liverpool are to qualify for the Champions League then Rodgers hopes his attacking duo of Philippe Coutinho and England international Sterling can continue to torment defences.

“Coutinho was at a real world class level tonight,” Rodgers said.

“He’s a young player who’s improved so much and he’s adapted really well to this league.

“Raheem, Coutinho, the other players combined very well and got us the result.”