City will not succumb to pressure: Sterling

Manchester City's Raheem Sterling has no doubts they will eventually reel in Jurgen Klopp's side.
Manchester City's Raheem Sterling has no doubts they will eventually reel in Jurgen Klopp's side.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON • Raheem Sterling has admitted the "pressure got to him" and his teammates during Liverpool's failed English Premier League title tilt in the 2013-14 season, but there was no chance of a repeat at Manchester City as they have "the belief".

The former Reds forward was part of a team that topped the table with three games to go five years ago, but slipped up to enable City to win the league by two points.

Recalling his time at Anfield, Sterling told Sky Sports: "When I was there (at Liverpool), I did feel a lot more pressure than when I'm here, with match days and the fans.

"We were in control and we had the opportunity to see it through, but we didn't do that.

"Here, we're completely focused on each game and trying to win each game as it comes.

"It's a completely different scenario from last year... we were a bit more comfortable towards this point of the season."

ABOUT-TURN

This year, it's a complete turnaround and we're the ones who are chasing. It's really close at the moment but I have full belief in the squad.

RAHEEM STERLING, on City playing second fiddle to the Reds compared to last year, when they had a massive lead over their challengers.

Liverpool find themselves in a similar situation to five years ago this term, leading City by one point with 10 league games left.

However, Sterling has no doubts they will eventually reel in Jurgen Klopp's side.

He added: "They've been playing some good football at times but we're confident in ourselves.

"This year, it's a complete turnaround and we're the ones who are chasing. It's really close at the moment but I have full belief in the squad."

City can provisionally move top if they avoid defeat at Bournemouth today, with the Merseyside derby taking place tomorrow.

However, Pep Guardiola knows that anything other than a victory would be a massive blow to their hopes of back-to-back league titles for the first time in their history.

The Spaniard has concerns over fatigue affecting his squad, who remain in the hunt for an unprecedented quadruple. And, with Fernandinho and Aymeric Laporte missing for the next few weeks, he will have to tinker with his line-up at Dean Court.

The City boss said: "Hypothetically, we have 20 games left in the season - 10 Premier League games and if we get to the Cup finals - and if you think we are only going to play with Bernardo (Silva) and Raheem, that's not going to happen.

"They (the squad players) know what they have to do, train hard, compete hard, they are going to play minutes.

"Everybody has to make their contribution then, (and) when I see their performance, I'm going to take decisions."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 02, 2019, with the headline 'City will not succumb to pressure: Sterling'. Print Edition | Subscribe