Sterling aware of finishing faults: 'Too much time to think makes me mess up!'

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The Manchester City forward needs no reminding that he has squandered a number of big chances of late, with his game better when more "instinctive"

Raheem Sterling is aware of his finishing faults at Manchester City, with too much time to think in front of goal making him “mess up”.

The England international has found the target 17 times in the Premier League this season, but acknowledges that tally could have been even better.

Big chances have been squandered in important fixtures, with a Manchester derby date with arch-rivals United proving to be particularly frustrating.

Sterling needs no reminding that he remains far from perfect, with the flying forward recognising that he is more productive in the final third when playing on instinct.

He told Sky Sports ahead of an outing against Swansea: "Forget what everybody says, I know what I want to do and what I need to improve on. Nobody needs to tell me.

"Of course, people see it and my problem is that when I have too much time to think that's when I mess up a lot. If it's more instinctive with less time to think I am much better. If it's through on goal and I have too much time to think I try to over-complicate things. That's when I do mess up at times.

"I have full confidence in myself and believe I will get it right in a matter of time. I have the World Cup [with England] this summer and then back to work again in pre-season and then continue trying to get better.

"It's nice to have a little fun when your team is winning but at the end of the day I am trying to be more efficient and clinical."

Sterling’s efforts, good and bad, have helped City ease their way to the Premier League title this season.

The 23-year-old claims Pep Guardiola’s side never questioned their credentials, with renewed belief at the Etihad Stadium following a trophyless campaign in 2016-17.

Raheem Sterling thinking makes me mess up

Sterling added: "Coming into this pre-season, the energy and atmosphere and belief was really good.

"The belief when we were in the dressing room and when we went out onto pitches felt like we were in control.

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"Last season I had it where I thought 'it might not be our day today' but there has not been a game this season I thought we were going to lose. Even the Champions League game against Liverpool at 3-0 down in the second leg I thought we were going to win.

"The whole year it has been like that. I always have that belief in the team that we were going to win.

"We have controlled games and our thing last year was that when we were doing well the counter-attack was always on, but this year we have solved it so we are a bit safer and that gave me reassurances that if we attack we can defend and stop them scoring."