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‘Hopefully the manager will put me on the pitch!’ – Sterling out to raise his game at Man City

11:09 AM WAT 23/07/2019
Raheem Sterling Pep Guardiola Manchester City pre-season 2019
The England international forward is aware that expectations at the Etihad Stadium will be raised again for the 2019-20 campaign

Raheem Sterling is hoping that Pep Guardiola will continue to pick him at Manchester City, with the England international ready to try and take his game to even greater heights.

The 24-year-old has been on an upward career curve for some time now.

Guardiola’s arrival at the Etihad Stadium has proved to be a catalyst for Sterling unlocking his full potential.

He has recorded 48 goals across the last two seasons, helping City to become a dominant force domestically and history-making treble winners.

Sterling is, however, aware of the need to strive for continuous improvement, with fierce competition for places meaning that he cannot afford to rest on his laurels.

He told reporters of the challenges approaching in 2019-20: “The biggest difference is that every season, the competition gets tougher, the level gets raised and that’s one of the best things here – that it’s always a high tempo.

“You’re always learning and competing on all fronts with other players for your position. The manager sets a high standard and it’s down to us as players to match that and try and put out our best.

"Hopefully the manager will put me on the pitch! I’ll try to get some minutes. It’s an important time for us – we have to get ready and get fit for the new season.

“That’s the most important thing – to try to get my fitness up and hopefully, I’ll score some goals.”

Sterling is currently away on pre-season duty with City.

He helped Guardiola’s side to reach the final of the Premier League Asia Trophy, with West Ham swept aside 4-1 in the semi-final clash.

The Three Lions star was, however, to contribute towards the Blues coming unstuck against Wolves.

His failure from the penalty spot in the final, as he skied an effort over the crossbar, led to the game finishing 0-0 after 90 minutes.

Sterling’s struggles from 12 yards were then inherited by his team-mates during a shootout low on quality, with Wolves ultimately prevailing to get their hands on summer silverware.