By 90Min
November 05, 2018

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has praised Raheem Sterling for developing a more mature character under his stewardship.

The England international starred in the Citizens' 6-1 shellacking of Southampton on Sunday afternoon, scoring two goals and making two assists. The 23-year-old has become an integral part of the Manchester City side since Guardiola's arrival in 2016, having previously struggled to establish himself following a big money move from Premier League rivals Liverpool.

Speaking after his side's emphatic victory, via BBC Sport, Guardiola said: "His head (has changed). The first season, he was scared. He was looking, who is the guy I am going to pass the ball to? We spoke about that and said: 'Try to score goals. Now you have the feeling, where is the goal and go over there.'

"I have the feeling he is now enjoying scoring goals and making assists. He's becoming a winning player. He's stable and focused on what he has to do to become a better player. He is more mature now than he was when we first met. He believes more in himself. Hopefully he can be more ambitious and think he can improve. He's 23 and he can be a better player."

PAUL ELLIS/GettyImages

Sterling is an excelled run of form for both club and country, and scored twice during England's famous 3-2 win over Spain last month. Having played in the Premier League since the age of 17, it's easy to forget the youngster's best years are still ahead of him, and he appears to be flourishing under the guidance of Guardiola.

Meanwhile, Sterling has branded Jürgen Klopp's Liverpool side as 'brilliant', and claimed that City need to take full advantage of them dropping points at the weekend. The Reds threw away a one goal lead to draw 1-1 with Arsenal, which allowed the Citizens to move two points clear at the top of the table after their hammering of the Saints.

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