Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has reportedly warned under-fire duo Raheem Sterling and Jordon Ibe that they need to surround themselves with better influences if they want to continue their Premier League careers.
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The pair, aged 20 and 19 respectively, have enjoyed incredible starts to their respective careers, but Rodgers fears that further back-page headlines relating to their off the field activities will slow their rapid rate of progress.
As the Daily Star reports, Sterling and Ibe were recently snapped with shisha pipes, while a video also emerged of Sterling allegedly inhaling laughing gas. The pair were publicly slammed by the media, but Rodgers has refused to do more than talk to them.
Ibe will be cup-tied for Sunday’s FA Cup game against Aston Villa, although Rodgers will be hoping that Sterling can shake off the recent allegations and turn in a decisive performance that could book the Reds an FA Cup final against either Arsenal or Reading.
He told reporters: “Well it [picking friends] was part of the message to them. Sometimes when you are young you give out the trust to people and then when they let you down, then you have to rethink it.
“When you’re in the position that they are in, unfortunately they have to think about who they give it to early on, and if people let you down later on in life it does not hurt you as much. It is very important that they have that close knit people around them that they can trust.”