Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers will continue to be tough on Raheem Sterling
Last Updated: October 22, 2012 9:24am
Raheem Sterling was the star of the show in the win over Reading
Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers insists managing the talent of Raheem Sterling is a balancing act if he is to be successful.
The 17-year-old winger scored his first Premier League goal for the Reds - and the only goal of the game - as Rodgers' team beat Reading at Anfield on Saturday.
But the adulation Sterling is receiving from supporters is in contrast to the harsh words Rodgers is directing at the youngster in a bid to get the best out of him.
"We do not want him at 17 years of age getting carried away with all the adulation and then at 21 he is washed up and everyone wants him out."
And the 39-year-old manager feels that is essential if he is to avoid the prospect of the teenage star losing his way in the game.
"Yes, there's some tough love going on, because he's still got an awful long way to go," said Rodgers, quoted in the Daily Mirror.
"We want to have him here as a legend for many years. We don't want him at 17 years of age getting carried away with all the adulation and then at 21 he's washed up and everyone wants him out.
"The biggest thing with me is just maintaining the hunger he has now. When he has that and he's learning and developing he can be a really top player. There's a long way to go but he's been a revelation."
But Rodgers added: "What's very important is I always offer the players the carrot.
"No one in this world responds to being beaten with a stick. We have to be careful because we want to nurture a real talent."