independent

Sunday 20 April 2014

Gerrard backs Sterling for England

Raheem Sterling, pictured, has been backed by Steven Gerrard to make England's World Cup squad

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard is convinced "frightening talent" Raheem Sterling is playing himself into contention for this summer's World Cup.

The 19-year-old winger has been in stunning form of late, notably scoring a brace in the 5-1 Barclays Premier League demolition of Arsenal earlier this month.

Gerrard feels Sterling is sure to have caught the eye of England boss Roy Hodgson, who will be mulling over the options for his squad ahead of the finals in Brazil.

"Raheem has been in great form over the last couple of months and I'm sure Roy is watching him very closely," Gerrard told the club's official website.

"The Arsenal game was an unbelievable performance from a guy of that age. I was just disappointed he didn't go on and get his hat-trick.

"His form of late has been sensational and if he continues that until the end of the season, we will see him at the World Cup."

Gerrard, though, concedes it is not only Sterling's pace that is a major part of his armoury, but his strength despite his slender stature.

"I don't go near him in training because if I do, there is only one winner. He's the toughest in our squad," added Gerrard.

"He just needs to keep learning and listening to Brendan Rodgers and the experienced players in the dressing room and believing in himself. If he does that, he'll be all right.

"I said to him before we played Everton (a 4-0 win at the end of January), 'Put yourself in the full-back's position - what doesn't he want? He doesn't want you to keep running at him'.

"Raheem was relentless that night. He kept going and going. He gave the Everton full-backs a torrid afternoon and he did it to Arsenal.

"Now he has to do it every week and get that consistency in his game. If he gets that consistency, he is going to be a frightening talent."

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