Football

Runaway leaders City profit from Sterling rise

Pep Guardiola believes there is more to come from Manchester City's man of the moment, Raheem Sterling, insisting that youth is on the former Liverpool player's side.

The 22-year-old initially struggled following his high-profile move from Merseyside two years ago, but has since found his footing.

English Premier League
MANCHESTER CITY SOUTHAMPTON

Against Southampton tomorrow morning (Singapore time), Sterling will be looking to add to his best-ever goal-scoring tally.

He was the key man in Sunday's 2-1 comeback win at Huddersfield Town, winning a penalty that was converted by Sergio Aguero and then netting a late winner.

That took his goal total to 12 in all competitions, a figure the England man has never previously managed over an entire campaign.

Guardiola said that the difference between the Sterling now and the one of the previous two seasons is that he has found the ability to come up with the end product that his excellent play merited.

INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCES

He said: "The way we want to play as a team helps individual performances.

"Like I said many times, Raheem is still young and there are a lot of things he can do better.

"Not just Raheem, yesterday in training, the players who didn't play against Huddersfield trained amazing."

On his own form, Sterling said calmness under pressure has been a key factor in his improvement in front of goal.

However, he refused to reveal how many goals he had targeted before the season kicked off.

"I just get in the box and try to be as calm as possible," he said.

"I set myself targets every season. Sometimes you don't match them, but that's the thing about football - you always have another year to try again.

"I can't tell you the target because I don't want to get slated (criticised) for it.

"I always set myself a realistic target, but high standards as well and hopefully I can match them this year.

"I am just really happy to be working in such a fantastic team."

Sterling's form has mirrored City's start to this campaign, with the Citizens having already accumulated an unprecedented 37 points from their opening 13 games.

City's eight-point lead over second-placed Man United has established them as overwhelming favourites to win the title, but skipper Vincent Kompany is not buying into that.

The Belgium defender said: "After 15 years at this level, the one thing you know and learn is you do not crown yourself champions in November."

"Let's be steady. The biggest challenge for us now is to go back home and say, 'The next game, let's do it again and do it again'." - WIRE SERVICES

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