sport

Roy issues Sterling warning

England boss Roy Hodgson has admitted Raheem Sterling may have blown his chance of starting England's World Cup opener with Italy following his sending off against Ecuador.

Liverpool midfielder Sterling and Ecuador's Manchester United winger Antonio Valencia were both shown red cards during Wednesday's 2-2 draw in Miami following a bust-up between the pair.

Valencia was sent off for raising his hands to Sterling after been caught by the Liverpool man's reckless tackle late on in the World Cup warm-up game.

The sending off means Sterling is suspended for England's final warm-up game against Honduras this weekend, after he was pencilled in to start, and he will now miss the chance to impress Hodgson.

"Raheem is obviously gutted because he knew he had a very strong chance of playing from the start on Saturday," said Hodgson.

"I'd already told him that and now he realises that chance is blown. So he has to get himself back into the frame for the game against Italy.

"Of course, he will need some looking after now. But we've got plenty of people who can do that and I would be disappointed if he hadn't looked forlorn and had come off the pitch whistling. That would make me ask questions of him.

"It was a fierce challenge but a very fair one. If you see it again, he goes right through the ball and Valencia has to jump over him.

"I was disappointed with Antonio's reaction. He's a senior player and I think he won't be happy with himself at having got sent off. Earlier, I'd witnessed Jack Wilshere receive quite a nasty blow and he took it without a reaction.

"Even Sterling, when he was surrounded by players trying to grab him by the throat, showed remarkable maturity.

"He committed what the referee decided was a serious foul and got sent off but I'm not going to be too harsh on him for that."