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Sterling: Pep keeps us on our toes!

STERLING WORK: Raheem Sterling addresses the media, ahead of the game...

STERLING WORK: Raheem Sterling addresses the media, ahead of the game...

Raheem Sterling says he is thriving under Pep Guardiola’s stewardship, constantly pushed to become the best.

The winger is enjoying an exceptional run of form on a personal and collective level, earning deserved acclaim and nominations for the PFA Player of the Season award.

In 42 appearances this season, Sterling has netted 19 goals and 16 assists – key to City’s hunt for an unprecedented Quadruple – and credits his manager’s motivational skills to his success.

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“To be in such an amazing team with a great coach and environment, you’re constantly learning,” he said.

Pep is someone who trusts you and encourages you to do better.

“You can never, ever stay still. He keeps you on your toes. You’re never comfortable.”

It is not just Sterling’s efforts on the pitch that are receiving recognition, with the England man making a stand in the fight against racism.

The midfielder was named Sportsman of the Year at the 2019 British Ethnic Diversity Sports Awards but remained humble regarding his title as a ‘trailblazer’.

“I don’t really think I can make a difference,” he stated. “This has been happening since before I was born and before my parents were born.

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“I can only speak out about events about me and around me. I don’t try to be someone who can lead.

“You just have to bring allegations to light with sit-downs, talking, and see how players feel. Then see what they can do and how we can move forward.

“Growing up, my mum always told me I was a wonderful black child and I know this. I’m confident with my body.

“Some people can’t take it but my mum told me to love myself and who I am.”

City return to Champions League action on Tuesday night with the visit of Tottenham in Spurs’ new stadium.

Sterling is excited by the prospect of taking part in the venue’s European debut and hopes his side can continue our outstanding form.

“It’s a lovely stadium,” he declared. “I’m pleased to finally see it in the flesh, having heard about it.

“Hopefully, we’ll have a good game in it tomorrow night.

“Playing in the Champions League every year is always a massive bonus. It’s an unbelievable competition to be involved in and on a stage like this, it’s very special.

“It’s a special thing but we need to stay focused and try to enjoy it as much as we can.”

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