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Guardiola: Sterling has raised his level again

PEP TALK: Guardiola has heaped praise on Raheem Sterling

PEP TALK: Guardiola has heaped praise on Raheem Sterling

Pep Guardiola says Raheem Sterling has become a more mature player in recent months.

The England man scored 23 goals and assisted a further 17 during a stellar 2017-18 campaign in which City won a league-and-cup double.

And Sterling has hit the ground running again this term, scoring three in seven appearances and delivering a series of impressive performances.

Ahead of this weekend's game with Brighton, Guardiola says the 23-year-old has a growing belief in his own ability. 

"My feeling is he is more mature than last season and I like it, " he said. 

"Sometimes it's not about statistics. Maybe I am wrong, but he is more mature and believes in himself more than last season.

"Our target is to make the players feel like they are better than the previous season."

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The boss also took time to lavish Vincent Kompany with praise after the Belgian announced he would have a testimonial next summer.

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Kompany joined City from Hamburg in 2008, days before the Club's takeover by Abu Dhabi United Group and has gone on to win three Premier League titles, and FA Cup and three League Cups. 

And Guardiola, who spent 17 years at Barcelona during his playing days, described him as "incredible". 

"Ten years is a long time, he is incredible," Pep said. "If he plays five minutes, it'll be the best five minutes of his life.

"Unfortunately, he had injuries, but last month I feel that he is feeling better.

"Testimonial in August? Are we not on holiday then?! I will be there!"

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