PL champion Sterling already thinking ‘about the next one’

Date published: Thursday 19th April 2018 7:10

Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling was more than happy to win his first Premier League title from the comfort of his own sofa but he insists that will not make him complacent about adding to his tally.

City’s players were on a day off when they were confirmed as champions after Manchester United were beaten by West Brom on Sunday.

Pep Guardiola’s side achieved the feat with a record-equalling five matches to spare and could finish the season with an even greater cushion than their current 16-point lead.

But while the title’s destination has not been in doubt for several months Sterling said it did not dampen the hunger to win it again next season.

“This is my first Premier League title so who cares how you win it, whether it was on the pitch or on my sofa, I’m just delighted to win the title,” said the England international.

“It’s been a dream ever since I was a kid growing up playing football with my mates and winning it means everything.

“It’s important we don’t get complacent though. It’s amazing to win it, but now it’s about the next one.”

Much has been made of the progress the winger has made this season with Guardiola at the weekend claiming the 23-year-old could become one of the best players in the world.

Sterling, who has scored 22 goals – 17 in the Premier League – is understandably grateful for the opportunity to work with the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss.

“It’s all about the basics with him. He pushes you to be better at the small things and that improves your performance,” he added.

“It’s been great for me to learn in this environment and improve as a player under him.

“He’s one of the best managers in the world. It’s special to be part of. I just need to keep improving and focus on how I can help the team.

“I set my own targets and I aim to achieve them every season but it’s more important to get the club where it wants to be.

“It’s been a good season for me but there are details I can change to make me sharper or more clinical and I always look to improve.”

Guardiola’s transfer policy addressed the need to bring down the average age of the squad with Leroy Sane one of those bought in the summer of 2016 to do just that.

The Germany international has provided a cutting edge on the opposite flank to Sterling while also chipping in with 13 goals.

With his first title now in the bag the 22-year-old is looking forward to a period of sustained success.

“We have a young team but also a lot of experience within the squad as well. It’s a good mix,” he said.

“It’s been a great season, but we can still always improve. I hope we can win many more trophies. The team is ambitious and we want to compete for everything.

“We didn’t win everything we wanted this season, and this is something to motivate us when we start again in the summer.

“I think the main goal for us is to keep winning. We want to play our best and win more trophies.

“This season has taught us a lot about how we work together and we want that to continue for as long as we can.

“Defending the Premier League trophy is very difficult, but we will try our best.”

 


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