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Star: England can roar to EURO 2016 victory says Hart

What the MEDIA says finished

What the MEDIA says finished

We’re a little thin on the ground this Sunday morning as far as City-related gossip is concerned.

However, here are the best snippets farmed from the the pixelated and paper pages of the media for you to digest.

Despite England’s 2-0 defeat at the hands of champions Spain who go into next summer’s UEFA EURO 2016 tournament chasing a history-making fourth successive crown - Joe Hart insists the Three Lions can still roar to victory in France.

““It’s next summer that matters. This was a step up and we were close to doing it,” Hart is quoted in the Daily Star.

““I certainly didn’t have a busy night and the game- changer was a quite special, acrobatic goal.

““We could have played another 50 games when Mario could have tried that and it wouldn’t have gone in.

““I was an old man out there and I’m 28 years old! Maybe we needed the experience.

““But Spain are the reigning champions and they had to work damned hard and come up with something special to breach us.

““We are going to the tournament next summer the best prepared we can be and we are going to try to win it.

““I know we went to Brazil for the World Cup last year saying what we are saying now. I’m well aware of that – I’m not stupid.

““But we’ve got a great squad. We’ll turn up with all our energy and we are sticking together.”

The Star also reveal that Hart’s love of James Bond could give Roy Hodgson’s side the edge next summer after the City man has been given licence to thrill when it comes to the squad’s pre-matchday entertainment. 

“The Man City stopper is a huge 007 fan and reckons the spy could be the team’s secret weapon in their quest for Euro 2016 glory in France next year.

“The Bond night screenings started during the Euro qualifiers in which coach Roy Hodgson became the only England manager in history to grab the maximum 30 points from ten qualifying games.

“Last week, ahead of Friday’s friendly against Spain in Alicante, Joe, 28, selected The Spy Who Loved Me for the lads to watch before heading back to their rooms for an early night.”

Raheem Sterling’s summer switch to City was one of the transfer sagas of 2014/15 and the winger is set to face his former club Liverpool for the first time since the move next weekend.

Sterling’s agent Aidy Ward is quoted in The Mirror expressing how he believes his client has improved under the stewardship of Manuel Pellegrini.

““Raheem is in a good place,” said Ward. “He is playing with better players for a manager, who gives him the freedom to express himself, and he is improving as a player in a team that is at the top of the Premier League and in the Champions League.

““He has gone up a tier. Manuel Pellegrini has played him in a wide role with the freedom to drift inside and he has also played as a central striker.

““That’s why he scored the first hat-trick of his professional career recently (against Bournemouth) – all of the goals coming in the first half.

““At Liverpool, Raheem was asked to play as a full-back, just like Emre Can was asked to play as a central defender when he is a midfielder. That wasn’t going to help him develop as a player.

““Moving to City was right for Raheem, even if Liverpool fans don’t want to accept that. At City, he now has a licence to thrill.”

“Sterling was identified by City as the outstanding English talent of his generation when they moved in to exploit a contract stand-off between the England forward and Liverpool.

“And the first thing Manuel Pellegrini did when the 20-year-old arrived at the Etihad was to challenge him to improve on last season’s ­Liverpool goal tally of 11.

“He already has six – but has been ­undergoing one-one-one sessions with assistant boss Brian Kidd after training to improve his finishing touch.

“Ward added: “Raheem is a £49million footballer, but he wants to become even better. That’s the mentality he has.

““He initiated the finishing practice and the coaches at City were delighted with that attitude.”

“So what if Sterling scores against his former club next weekend?

“Sterling, like his England team-mate Milner, has no emotional ­attachment to the club he now plays for.

“Milner supported hometown club Leeds, but left Elland Road to join Newcastle as an 18-year-old before moving to Aston Villa, City and Liverpool. When the 29-year-old scored for City against Villa in October 2011, he refused to celebrate.

“Ward said: “I don’t know what Raheem will do if he scores. If I was him, I’d celebrate like I would if I had scored against any other team. Perhaps he will.

““But that will be because he is happy to have scored for Man City. It will have nothing to do with that fact that it’s against ­Liverpool. Despite all the rubbish he’s had to deal with, Raheem isn’t a vindictive character.””

That’s your lot for today. More from the media on Monday.

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