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Sinclair: Outstanding Sterling having last laugh

ON FIRE: Raheem has been superb

ON FIRE: Raheem has been superb

Former City and England star Trevor Sinclair, backed by BBC pundit Alan Shearer heaped praise on Raheem Sterling after another scintillating display last night.

The Blues’ winger assisted two goals and was a constant threat against Huddersfield Town as his season goes from strength to strength.

The Daily Mail write: “Raheem Sterling has shown 'great character' to bounce back after being 'wrongly' criticised for England's Euro 2016 exit, according to BBC pundit Trevor Sinclair.

“Sterling was lambasted last summer as Roy Hodgson's side crashed out of the European Championship in the last-16 against Iceland.

THREAT: Sterling torments the Terriers' defence again

“But Sinclair, who was speaking after Manchester City's 5-1 FA Cup fifth-round replay win over Huddersfield, said the winger shouldn't have received the stick he got because he was played out of position in France.

‘He's outstanding,' Sinclair said. 'His end product's there and I think he knows his role in the team and I think that might have caused him trouble in the summer. He wasn't sure what his role was.'

Fellow pundit Alan Shearer added:  'He just puts it into the area where he knows someone will get on the end of it and that is very good wide play.

'You don't have to pick people out. Part of your job is to get it into the danger area and leave it up to the forwards to do the rest. He is doing that very, very well.'

The Times’ Henry Winter focuses on Sergio Aguero’s return to form in his report on City’s 5-1 win (subscription needed) as he writes: “For Manchester City, this was about so much more than progress to an FA Cup quarter-final away to Middlesbrough. This was also about the progress that Sergio Agüero has made in meeting the exacting demands of his perfectionist head coach, Pep Guardiola.

GET IN: Sergio celebrates his goal with Sane.

“It seems strange to debate the qualities of a striker like Agüero, such an unrelenting gatherer of goals during his time at Independiente, Atletico Madrid and City, including two more here, taking his City tally to 158 in 238 games, but the 28-year-old is undeniably developing into an even greater, all-round threat under Guardiola.”

The Huddersfield Examiner carry the post-match quotes of the Terriers’ boss who believes his side were a little naïve at the Etihad.

They report: “However, Town head coach David Wagner, who watched the game from the stands due to a touchline ban, felt his side did not do themselves justice.

“He said: ‘Of course the start was positive because we went in front but we were not at our best, performance-wise.

‘We have shown too much respect, unfortunately, against a very strong Manchester City side.

‘Congratulations to Pep -the result was fair. We made too many easy mistakes when we had the ball and when we defended we were not aggressive enough.’

Finally, a transfer snippet from The Express who link the Blues with one of West Ham’s brightest academy stars as they write: “Manchester City are monitoring West Ham wonder kid Ajibola Alese, reports claim

“Alese is one of the hottest prospects of the West Ham academy.

“The 16-year-old defender has made a big impact playing for the Hammers' Under-18s team.

“Slaven Bilic is keen to fastback him into the first team squad in the near future having been impressed by his displays.”

That’s all for today – stay tuned on mancity.com for plenty more throughout the day…

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Sterling targets FA Cup glory

MIDFIELD BATTLE: Raheem Sterling and Philip Billing battle for the ball.

Raheem Sterling warned that Man City were hungry for FA Cup glory after Pep Guardiola’s men swept into the quarter-finals with a classy 5-1 win over Huddersfield Town.

Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero react to Man City's FA Cup win over Huddersfield.