Roy Hodgson has revealed Raheem Sterling told him he was "too tired" to play for England against Estonia.
Wayne Rooney grabbed the only goal as the Three Lions laboured to a 1-0 win in Tallinn, with the Liverpool youngster's omission from the starting line-up the focus of pre-match speculation.
Sterling has featured in all of Liverpool's games this season, starting and finishing the last six, whilst also playing in international games against Norway and Switzerland before being withdrawn at half-time against San Marino.
"We were training, doing a light session," Hodgson told reporters. "Raheem had done the warm up and said, ‘I really am feeling a bit tired. I am not in my best form at the moment because I'm a bit tired'.
"So I said, 'Best thing is Adam Lallana starts the game and you rest and I bring you on from the bench,' simple as that. When he came on there was nothing wrong with him.
"Perhaps it's quite simply the season hasn't started quite as well for Liverpool as they wanted. He's a player who's always in the focus and spotlight for England and Liverpool, maybe that's had some effect."
|Keep up with the European Qualifiers news and watch match highlights on UEFA.com!|