Agger: England won't faze Sterling
Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling can handle the pressure of senior international football as he targets a place in England's World Cup squad, according to club teammate Daniel Agger.
Sterling, 19, is expected to be given another chance to impress by England manager Roy Hodgson in Wednesday night's friendly against Denmark at Wembley.
Born in Kingston, Jamaica, the winger came through the England youth ranks before making his senior debut in November 2012 away to Sweden and Reds defender Agger sees no reason why the England under-21 regular -- who scored in Saturday's 3-0 Premier League win at Southampton -- cannot take it all in his stride.
"He can handle the pressure, or else he would not play for us, for Liverpool. It's a great opportunity for him,'' Agger said. "If he continues what he is doing right now I cannot see why not (for the World Cup squad). He is a great, great talent and has some qualities England can use.''
Another youngster hoping to impress is Arsenal's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
The 20-year-old midfielder has not featured for England since August after suffering a knee problem in the early stages of the current season but is back in Hodgson's squad after some excellent displays for the Gunners in 2014.
And Oxlade-Chamberlain says that watching back his goal in a 2-2 draw with Brazil last June gave him extra impetus to return.
"When you are injured for a long period of time, looking back on moments in your career is inspiration and motivation to continue the hard work,'' he said. "I'm not going to lie, I did have a few looks back at that moment and it kept me working hard -- now I am back and fit and focused.
"There is no doubt it is always an honour to get called up and it was really nice to see my name back in the squad. It is a nice little reward and a good opportunity to be in and around the team again.''
Given he has played much less football than the players he is contending with for a place in Hodgson's World Cup squad, Oxlade-Chamberlain could find himself with much more in the tank when the World Cup kicks off. That is not an idea the former Southampton youngster has yet to buy into as he looks to build on his 13 caps.
"It is hard to say,'' he replied when asked if missing the start of the season could work in his favour. "You never know how you are going to be feeling at the end of the season. Maybe once I'm back into full fitness I might have a bit left over come the summer but it is hard to say.
"I think you always have to be on your toes and make sure that when you have opportunities to play for your club or country you take it and show what you have to offer. I don't think I'm playing catch up, I'm a young player and I'm still learning -- when I get the opportunity I always try to do my best.''