Raheem Sterling admits he has had ‘a very weird one’ with Manchester City this season as he adjusts to being used a substitute and was ‘itching to come on’ after Pep Guardiola’s latest reshuffle
- Man City’s Raheem Sterling admitted this season has been ‘very weird’ for him
- He has endured less minutes under Pep Guardiola with more squad rotation
- Sterling featured a lot less in the Champions League and didn’t play Dortmund
- He also admitted that there is more belief around England ahead of Euro 2020
Raheem Sterling admitted that this season has been ‘very weird’ for him after spending more time on the bench for Manchester City.
The England international has been an ever-present figure since Pep Guardiola took over at the Etihad Stadium and played an instrumental role in their back-to-back Premier League titles in the 2017/18 and 2018/19 seasons.
Sterling’s minutes on the pitch have suffered slightly this campaign due to squad rotation in the midst of the hectic football calendar enforced by the coronavirus pandemic.
Raheem Sterling admitted that this season has been ‘very weird’ for him at Manchester City
Sterling has featured less than he would like to under Pep Guardiola due to squad rotation
Sterling (left) spoke with Rio Ferdinand (right) about how his numbers have dropped this term
The winger has only played three Champions League matches from kick off to the final whistle as City have their sights set on European glory for the first time in their clubs history.
His numbers have also taken a slight dip. In the three seasons prior, Sterling had scored 18 (2017/18), 17 (2018/19) and 20 (2019/20) goals in the Premier League, whereas this time around he has nine goals with just six matches remaining.
‘Don’t get me wrong, this season for me personally has been a very weird one,’ Sterling told Rio Ferdinand for BT Sport.
‘But nevertheless I’m still enjoying my football and giving my all to the team.
‘Yeah don’t get me wrong, if I don’t score or do something to help the team I’m not happy coming off the field.
Sterling has scored nine Premier League goals this season with six matches left to play
‘Of course I am happy we’ve won but at the same time I think that’s what helps me to get these goals is to be that driven and it’s the perfect time in the season now.’
The 26-year-old was an unused substitute in Manchester City’s Champions League quarter-final first leg against Borussia Dortmund.
He explained: ‘I was itching to come on. I didn’t come on but again, just wait for your opportunity to make your mark.’
Ahead of Euro 2020 this summer, Sterling is one of the few England talents that is almost a certainty to be named in Gareth Southgate’s squad for the tournament.
He was instrumental in their qualifiers for the competition, netting eight goals and garbbing six assists from seven qualifying matches and admitted that there is a better feeling around the England camp than when he first started at national level back in 2012.
‘I am hopefully looking to end the season on a high with City now and then turn my focus to England,’ he answered when asked about England’s chances at Euro 2020.
Sterling said there is a good feeling around the England camp ahead of Euro 2020 this summer
‘I definitely want to be a part of that group, with a good bunch of quality players who are all in contention to start.
‘When I first went into the England set up to now, we do feel ourselves a bit, we do fancy ourselves in games, going to games, and I think we are really focused on winning and focused on putting in a good performance and focused on trying to achieve being the number one team in the world.’
He also added that the squad must head into the tournament with the confidence and belief that they can win England’s first major trophy since 1966.
‘I tell people to be confident. Tell people you want to win the Euros, you want to win World Cups. And if the whole team aren’t saying that then I don’t think there is a chance of doing it.’