Raheem Sterling
Sterling was taken off to save him for Estonia, not at the request of Brendan Rodgers, says Hodgson. Getty Images/Mike Hewitt

England manager Roy Hodgson says Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers did not order the half-time substitution of Jordan Henderson and Raheem Sterling in a reaction to the miss-treatment of Daniel Sturridge last month.

Sturridge suffered a thigh injury in training following the friendly win over Norway in September, which has seen him miss the last nine games for club and country, leading to criticism from the Reds boss regarding the handling of the player.

Both Henderson and Sterling were withdrawn at the break with England two goals ahead in their European Championship qualifier against San Marino ahead of a second Group E match against Estonia on Sunday.

But Hodgson says the Liverpool pair, who were replaced by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Adam Lallana at the break, were taken off to allow England to show their strength in depth.

"To be fair to Brendan [Rodgers] when I spoke to him about Daniel [Sturridge], and when we knew he wasn't going to be ready the only two players we talked about when Daniel and Glen [Johnson] and he told me they wouldn't be ready," Hodgson explained.

"We didn't talk about the other two and whether they would play or not play. In our position, with the wealth of talent that we have in attack areas I thought it was nice to take off people like [Raheem] Sterling and [Jordan] Henderson that might play an important role against Estonia."

Phil Jagielka, Wayne Rooney, Danny Welbeck, Andros Townsend and Alessandro Dalla Valle's own goal gave England another comfortable victory over San Marino, ranked 208 in Fifa's world rankings.

And Hodgson was impressed by the performance ahead of their third group game against Estonia this weekend.

"I was pleased; pleased we got the job done," he said. "I thought the crowd were terrific there mood and buoyancy and there determination to get some enjoyment from the game was great.

"Once you go 2-0 up and then you go 3-0 up it makes it harder for them to keep going. It's a job done, an important job done we're got our points from this game and we can concentrate on Estonia where we have very little preparation time."