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Raheem Sterling

Hart backs Sterling to shine at Euro 2016: He's got nothing to prove

3:00 AM IST 26/05/16
England's Euro 2016 squad | Raheem Sterling
The Manchester City and England keeper says his young team-mate is only going to get better and believes his lack of game time at the end of the season will benefit his country

Raheem Sterling has been backed to make a difference at Euro 2016 by Manchester City and England team-mate Joe Hart.

Sterling joined City for an initial £44 million last summer but endured a difficult end to the campaign as he struggled with injury and dropped out of Manuel Pellegrini's starting XI.

The 21-year-old was named in Roy Hodgson's squad for the Euros regardless and he put in a bright display against Turkey on Sunday as the Three Lions stepped up their preparations for the tournament in France with a 2-1 victory.

Hart insists that Sterling will only get better and refutes the idea that his difficult debut year at the Etihad Stadium should count against him.

"He's got no point to prove, Raheem," the goalkeeper told reporters. "I see Raheem work hard every day trying to improve. He's 21, he's fully aware of that and he's going to get better. And he's excited. He's an exciting footballer, someone I enjoy working with and I really want to do well.

"He was really good [on Sunday]. He got kicked to pieces because they couldn't deal with him, simple as that. I think maybe in a [European] Championship game a few of them would have been walking a lot tighter rope than they were.

"But it was good. I was excited to see it. It was tough for Raheem towards the end of the season - he wasn't starting games - that's gone and it's a fresh chapter."

Sterling started just two City matches between March 2 and the end of the season, a spell which included a month-long injury lay-off, but Hart believes that the youngster will be raring to go by the time England take on Russia on June 11.

"It's definitely a bonus," he added. "A fit and firing Raheem Sterling can change games."