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Guardiola sounds salute to 'magnificent' Sterling

Pep Guardiola has paid handsome tribute to the resurgent form of Raheem Sterling, describing the England international’s contribution to the City cause as ‘magnificent’.

Having hit a superb hat-trick in last weekend’s 4-0 win at Norwich, Sterling then struck a magnificent goal to round off last Tuesday’s 5-0 Champions League last-16 first leg win away at Sporting.

That spectacular strike was just the latest manifestation of Sterling’s impressive form and it also saw the 27-year enter the top ten of City’s all-time leading goal scorers.

And asked at Friday’s pre-match press conference ahead of Saturday tea time’s home clash with Spurs how high the England international’s confidence levels were right now, Guardiola replied: “It’s higher.

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“Always the goals is a consequence of his confidence, and his confidence comes with his smile and mood. You cannot play good when your mood is down - its impossible. You cannot improve when your mood is down. Good faces - you cannot imagine how important it is.

“I’m not talking about Raheem as it was not the case but when, in general, if someone is complaining about lack of minutes, or whatever, you cannot be better and you cannot improve - you will perform bad.

“Against Sporting, the intensity of his movements… they were magnificent. It is what Raheem has done over many, many years together.

“In terms of stats and the national team and becoming a key player for us - and for me personally - I am very glad he is back to his best because we need him.”

Play the video to watch Guardiola’s press conference in full…

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