London - England forward Raheem Sterling on Monday defended his decision not to start his side's Euro 2016 qualifying win over Estonia on Sunday, saying: "Excuse me for being human."
Sterling, 19, came on as a second-half substitute in England's 1-0 victory in Tallinn, after which manager Roy Hodgson explained that the Liverpool winger had complained of fatigue on the eve of the match.
The matter was discussed on the sports pages of several British newspapers on Monday, while Sterling also received critical messages on Twitter.
He responded by tweeting: "Now listening too.. Excuse me for being human?? omw (on my way) home."
Jamaica-born Sterling, one of England's most important attacking players, also retweeted two of the messages he had received from fellow Twitter users.
One read: "Oi @sterling31 sod off and choose to play for Jamaica if you're going to continue all this tired nonsense."
Another said: "@sterling31 Prone to Tiredness? I use to play 3 Rugby matches a week when I was 19! #tiredness #yourhavingalaugh #stillyoung."
Explaining his decision to pick Adam Lallana ahead of Sterling, Hodgson told BBC Radio 5 Live: "He (Sterling) said, 'I'm feeling tired, I'd rather sit this one out.'"
Sterling has started in nine of Liverpool's 10 games to date in all competition this season and made 38 appearances last season.