‘When I was there I did feel a lot more pressure than when I’m here’: Raheem Sterling claims expectations at Liverpool crippled them in 2013-14 and Manchester City are ‘completely focused’ on retaining the title
- Raheem Sterling thinks pressure crippled Liverpool in the 2013-14 title race
- He was part of Brendan Rodgers’ squad that lost the title to Manchester City
- Sterling insists City are ‘completely focused’ on retaining the Premier League
- Liverpool are one point ahead of City in the table with 10 games left to play
Raheem Sterling has admitted the pressure during Liverpool’s bid for the title in 2013-14 hindered the squad and Manchester City are ‘completely focused’ on retaining their crown.
The England winger was part of Brendan Rodgers’ squad that topped the table by six points with three games to go but went on to squander their advantage with two defeats in their last three games.
He joined City for £49million in the summer of 2015 and went on to win the title in record-breaking fashion under Pep Guardiola last season.
Raheem Sterling has admitted the pressure on Liverpool in 2013-14 hindered their chances
Manchester City trained on Thursday less than 24 hours after narrowly beating West Ham 1-0
Pep Guardiola’s side go to Bournemouth next and are one point behind leaders Liverpool
Liverpool are currently in pole position to claim a first domestic crown since 1990 and Jurgen Klopp’s side currently lead City by one point at the summit of the Premier League.
In an interview with Sky Sports News, Sterling admitted the furore surrounding Liverpool’s bid to lift the trophy weighed heavy on the players’ shoulders and that burden does not exist with City.
He said: ‘When I was there I did feel a lot more pressure than when I’m here, with match days and the fans. I think that they get to us a little bit. We were in control and we had the opportunity to see it through but we didn’t do that.
‘Here we’re completely focused on each game and trying to win each game as it comes. It’s a complete different scenario from last year – last year we were a bit more comfortable towards this point of the season.
‘They’ve been playing some good football at times but we’re confident in ourselves and we’ve got the belief.’
John Stones plays a pass to a team-mate as City turn their attention to the south coast trip
Bernardo Silva and Ian Carlo Poveda walk to the pitch together ahead of the training session
Kyle Walker gives Stones a cheeky smile as they take part in a light session for recovery
Riyad Mahrez struggled to take the opportunity of a rare start against the Hammers
City ran away with the title last season but a stunning league campaign so far has the Reds top with 10 games to go. Sterling is adamant City can reel them in, just as they did to him under Rodgers five years ago.
‘This year it’s a complete turnaround and we’re the ones who are chasing,’ he added. ‘It’s really close at the moment but I have full belief in the squad.
‘We’re confident in ourselves and we’ve got the belief and the attitude and the work-rate that we need. We’re completely focused on the job and not who we’re up against but who we’ve got next – that’s all that matters.’
City were straight back into training on Thursday after their narrow win over West Ham as they now turn their attention to Saturday’s trip to Bournemouth.