Raheem Sterling assesses England's victory over Kosovo and his own season ambitions

Tuesday 10 Sep 2019
Raheem Sterling celebrates his goal against Kosovo in the 5-3 victory at St. Mary's

England's Raheem Sterling was in no mood for praise on Tuesday night, after helping the Three Lions to victory over Kosovo.

The Manchester City man was in eye-catching form at St. Mary's, scoring one and setting up three as England won a thrilling game by 5-3.

But Sterling knows England need to improve in certain aspects of their game as they aim for potential glory on home soil at EURO 2020 next summer.

"I thought it was one of my best England performances in the first half," admitted the former Liverpool and QPR player.

"We were ruthless at times and at this level, this game's got to be finished at half time.

"But we gave away sloppy goals and, no disrespect to Kosovo as I thought they played well, we've got to finish that game off.

Sterling leaps highest to head home England's equaliser at St. Mary's

"He [Gareth Southgate] was happy with what he saw in the first half, but he's banged on about the sloppy goals and said we've got to make teams earn their goals and we've not been doing that."

It's been a good week for Sterling with England, after his goal against Bulgaria at Wembley on Saturday was supplemented by his display on the south coast.

And he admits he's been pleased with his form on the international stage since he ended his goal drought in the memorable win over Spain last October.

"Going on that long drought, I wasn't really looking at my stats until I saw how bad they were, and then I put pressure on myself to better them.

"And from that night in Spain with those two goals, I knew I would kick on from here.

"It's been a good start to this season and I just want to keep scoring goals."

Sterling was also happy to help fellow forward Jadon Sancho break his own England duck, providing two assists for the Borussia Dortmund youngster.

"I've said before, he was in my room last night begging for me to square to him so I'm glad to set him up for the goals," he added.

"He's a good kid. He's doing good things for club and country, he's very professional, he does the right things, his recovery, the ice baths...

"He's doing things at his age that I know I probably wasn't so it's an exciting time."

By Nicholas Veevers at St. Mary's, Southampton