Confidence trick for Sterling
Published 16/01/2014 | 11:22
Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling admits confidence has played a significant part in him feeling at home as a first team regular.
The 19-year-old has started the last 10 matches for the Reds, scoring three times, and he now feels comfortable playing his naturally attacking game.
After having a huge impact at the start of last season, the teenager fell out of favour towards the end and started just once this campaign prior to his current unbroken run.
"I'm just working hard and trying to do the best that I can. I feel really confident now and feel as if I'm getting into my zone," he told liverpoolfc.com.
"Hopefully I've got more to come. Confidence is the most important thing for my game; if I'm not confident, I don't do the stuff I normally would do - I just do the safe or simple option.
"But now, getting into my zone with the senior players encouraging you to do what they know you can do, it's a really good moment for me and the team.
"I'm really enjoying having a run in the team. I've been given a chance, the manager has put faith in me and played me week in, week out so far. Hopefully I can produce on the pitch and carry on.
"I knew within myself that there would be a point in the season when I would get a chance. I just had to be ready.
"In training I was working hard to hopefully get a chance; the chance came and hopefully I can repay the manager by either scoring or assisting."
Sterling's four goals this season, having scored in an early Capital One Cup tie, is already double his best return in the first team.
Having assessed his performances last year he has made adjustments and it appears to be paying off.
"Last season I looked at my game and I wasn't making the box enough. This season, all three of my goals have come within the box," he added.
"I just need to keep making the box and the chances will come. Hopefully I'll get some more goals and add to my stats."