Raheem Sterling has described criticism of his performances and personality as “a bit unfair”, ahead of Manchester City’s first Champions League group game.
Sterling has been targeted by online trolls as well as targeted extensively by some elements of the media after a poor summer for England.
“You take a stroll and look at your phone and being nosy, see what they’re saying. Now I don’t mind,” insists Sterling.
“I got a lot of criticism last year which I thought was a bit unfair. Now I don’t read things like that.”
His performances have undoubtedly improved under new manager Pep Guardiola and he admitted: “When I was on holiday in the summer I said I need to come back working hard to show the manager I’m willing to fight for a place.
“Pep makes it simple – he tells you it like it is. He gives me a lot of confidence as a young player.
“Since day one the manager has tried to up the team spirit. Last year we were all close but now we’re closer than ever.
“I think with the players and manager we have, we’re getting stronger each week. We should be challenging for every competition.”