Raheem Sterling on form as title run-in and World Cup loom

Tuesday 01 Apr 2014
Sterling has scored six goals so far this term

With the World Cup just months away and Liverpool in the midst of a title challenge, England winger Raheem Sterling has plenty to be excited about.

Sterling has been in scintillating form in recent weeks as Liverpool continue the fine run that has taken them from outsiders to table-toppers within three months.

The Reds’ most recent success came in Sunday’s contest with Tottenham Hotspur – with Sterling’s performance in the 4-0 victory particularly catching the eye.

The 19-year-old picked up the man-of-the-match award - and all this in front of England coach Ray Lewington.

Lewington will have reported back only good things to Hodgson, but despite his fine run of personal form, the player himself remains focused on the immediate and continuing forward as a team.

"I worked really hard for the team, not just going forward but I looked to track back," he said.

Raheem Sterling in action for England against Denmark.

Sterling has two senior England caps to his name

"I think my work-rate and my confidence have improved. I'm working for the team, pressing and really trying to get on the front foot.”

It was arguably the teenager's best display since breaking into the side in the latter stages of the 2011-12 season and, having won back his first-team place in December, came on the back of three months of progress both individually and collectively.

"It was disappointing being on the bench for two games,” he added. “I knew I had to be ready if I was called back and I am grateful to the manager for having the belief to put me in for a big game and the team got the win.

"It is great to have a manager who has belief in you; as a young player that is what you cry out for. I am just grateful to have a manager like that at this club."

Sterling is also benefiting from the fine form of a number of his teammates – including the England contingent of Steven Gerrard, Daniel Sturridge, Glen Johnson and Jordan Henderson, as well as the favourite for player of the player of the season – Luis Suarez.

And the London-born forward says that with a title run-in and World Cup approaching, to be playing regularly in such a positive environment can only aid his development.  

"To have players like Luis and Stevie giving you encouragement is a help and credit to them," he added.

Raheem Sterling

Sterling says he is loving life under Brendan Rodgers

"I have been learning off the likes of Suarez and Sturridge and trying to bring it into matchdays."

Liverpool sit top of the table with six matches to go and there is a real belief the club can end a 24-year wait for the title.

While fans are reveling in the situation, Sterling admits the squad are working hard on concentrating on the task in hand.

"I think as the season goes on we have a bit more belief but we can't get ahead of ourselves, we have to take it game by game and coming to the last six games there is a really good atmosphere at the training ground," he said.

"With the remaining games it is going to be difficult with Manchester City and Chelsea coming here but we'll take it as it comes as we really fancy ourselves against anyone coming here.

"We will take it step-by-step and do the business when they come."

By Jamie Reid Senior Writer