Raheem Sterling is ‘really grateful’ for Pep Guardiola’s trust in him after a Man City exit failed to materialise this summer.
Sterling was hoping to leave the Etihad as a result of City’s bloated options in attack, which reduced his game time last season. Spanish side Barcelona soon became linked with his signature.
Guardiola even admitted that it would be a struggle to keep the winger from the clutches of his former club.
However, Sterling went on to remain in Manchester and is exerting his influence on the first team. The England international is now on three goals in his last five Premier League appearances.
That includes the winner in Saturday’s 1-0 victory over Wolves. Sterling calmly slotted home from the penalty spot after Bernardo Silva’s cross had hit Joao Moutinho’s arm in the box.
That goal was also his 100th in the Premier League, and his 120th in all competitions for City.
“I am a player that likes to feel that they can help their team and I am really grateful to have this run in the side so I can do just that,” Sterling said.
“We have got two top players in each position that play for their national team, so there are loads of challenges.
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“It is a nice achievement to get to [100 Premier League goals], but the most important thing was the win and I am just happy to help the team.”
On his penalty, the 27-year-old added: “I picked my place and went for it. It was really nice to see it go in.
“Wolves are always a difficult team to play against, even with 10 men, and we found it difficult again.
“You have these types of games over the season and it is just about sticking with it. Not every game is going to be as nice as we would like to be, but sometimes you have to dig deep and that is how you build championships.”
Guardiola reacts to Man City win
Guardiola, meanwhile, told BT Sport after the match: “Well, we were better with 11 players [each] and better when [Wolves had] 10 players and of course with 1-0, everything can happen.
“The same from Edi can happen, but in 90 minutes we were better. It’s difficult because they are the masters of defending really well, really deep with the 5-3-2 shape and waiting to attack with [Adama] Traore.
“The two strikers drop so close with the three in the middle, they are allowed to go outside and defend players in the box.
“It’s important that we didn’t concede, we didn’t. The last three games, they have lost two, today is the third. The result is always 0-0, 1-0, 0-1 and that is because they defend really well.
“It’s an incredible victory for us.”