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Pep Guardiola Provides Strong Public Backing To Man City Forward and Explains Reasons Behind Positional Change

Pep Guardiola has given Raheem Sterling his public backing, after facing questions on the England international's club form during his pre-Liverpool press conference on Friday afternoon.

Raheem Sterling is a player who has split opinion amongst the Manchester City fanbase over the course of the past year. 

With some mixed performances in that time, the England international has found himself in and out of the Manchester City team on a regular basis.

Despite a red hot summer with England, where he scored crucial goals in Gareth Southgate's side's run to the European Championship final, he has failed to transfer that level of performance to his club.

On Tuesday night, Sterling was deployed as a false nine against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League, and was unlucky to see his well-timed header cannon back off the woodwork. 

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When questioned on the 26-year-old's recent form in Friday afternoon's press conference, Pep Guardiola was quick to hit back at critics and remind them of just how well Sterling played against a stubborn PSG defence.

"Raheem (Sterling) played really good as a striker at PSG, he created incredible chances," Pep Guardiola said.

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"One (chance) and another one with the movement. We need speed, zero to 100, he did it exceptionally."

Such comments then led to some follow-up questions on Raheem Sterling's position in the Manchester City starting XI - most notably, what position suits the former Liverpool winger the best. 

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"He can play on the right but at the start of the season, Gabriel (Jesus) plays really good," the manager explained. 

"The game we need guys one against one, Jack (Grealish) and opponents can track opponents and we need more specific. If we need a guy who runs right and left, Raheem (Sterling) is the best in the squad. We need specific qualities."

"Raheem (Sterling) can play good on the left, (in the) 100 points (season, he was) incredible. On the left, (during the) 98 points (season). As a striker, his movement. Against Southampton, he was so good, he has been training so good."

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