Raheem Sterling must stand up and be counted on England duty, says Pep Guardiola
Raheem Sterling must stand up and be counted on England duty, says Pep Guardiola

Raheem Sterling has been urged to demonstrate his quality to Gareth Southgate while on England duty by his club manager Pep Guardiola.,but has scored five times in all competitions this season as City have surged to the top of the Premier League.

The 22-year-old former Liverpool forward lost his place in England’s starting line-up against Slovakia, but is in contention for Thursday’s World Cup Qualifier with Slovenia and the final game with Lithuania.

Manchester City boss Guardiola said: “Raheem is a young guy. He has to know that job is not easy. He cannot expect it’s always going to go well.

Sterling's purple patch has seen him score five goals so far this season for City
Sterling’s purple patch has seen him score five goals so far this season for City

“I want to see him when it’s going bad with the national team, how he will react. He mustn’t complain. He’ll say: ‘Gareth Southgate, Pep, I’m here, I am going to show you how good I am’.

“That is the only way to become a better player. He has a lot of space to improve: in the last pass, to be more clear in the last action. When he’s able to get that, he will become a top, top, top player.”

Sterling’s club team-mate Fabian Delph has had relatively few opportunities to demonstrate his quality for City since moving to the Etihad in 2015.

Fabian Delph was a surprise selection by England boss Gareth Southgate
Fabian Delph was a surprise selection by England boss Gareth Southgate

But the former Aston Villa captain has been recalled to the international fold by England boss Southgate, and looked comfortable in an unfamiliar left-back role

Guardiola said: “I’m so happy [for him] to go to the national team for England, because I think England can use him a lot, maybe more than I used him last season.

“It’s not easy when for a long period you don’t play. And when the manager gives you an opportunity, you play a position you have never played before.

“Some guys just want to play in one position. He’s a guy who will try always to help. Last season when he didn’t play always it was his voice in our locker room. I’m so satisfied, so happy for him.”

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