Thursday 19 July 2018

We're not fixated on our record-breaking feats, says Sterling

Manchester City's Raheem Sterling is taking one match at a time
Manchester City's Raheem Sterling is taking one match at a time

Raheem Sterling is not even contemplating new records as Manchester City attempt to continue their sprint towards the Premier League title.

City will equal Bayern Munich's European best of 19 consecutive league wins if they beat Crystal Palace on Sunday, having stretched their lead at the top of the table to 15 points with victory at Newcastle on Wednesday evening.

However, Sterling insists that the only concentration is on the 90 minutes immediately ahead of him and his team-mates.

The 23-year-old told the club's official website, www.mancity.com: "I don't think everyone is really too focused on that. The most important thing is the three points at the end of the day.

"Once you win the game and the stats come up, that's all well and great, but you can't be thinking about that.

"We've just got to have a single focus on getting the job done. At the end of the day, if it happens, it happens, but we need to go there with the mentality to get the job done."

City's 18th successive league win came courtesy of Sterling's only goal at St James' Park as he settled a game which the visitors dominated without putting to bed as the Magpies, controversially in the eyes of some, conceded space and possession for long periods before launching a late assault which very nearly paid dividends.

Pep Guardiola's men were ultimately rewarded for their patience after they had been repeatedly thwarted by the Magpies' blanket defence, and they will apply the same philosophy as they attempt to cast the chasing pack - and in particular derby rivals United - further adrift.

Asked what motivates them with such a commanding lead, Sterling replied: "Keep winning - I think that's the biggest motivation you can have, to have the next games come so think and fast to try to keep that run going.

"The boys, all credit to them, once one game is finished, we are looking on to the next one. Crystal Palace is our next game and the focus now is to get back, get recovered, look forward to Palace and get the three points there."

Sterling's goal on Tyneside, which came as he converted Kevin De Bruyne's inch-perfect pass, was his 17th of the season and he is delighted to be making a tangible contribution.

He said: "Who wouldn't? Of course I am. It's something that I always want to do, I want to score, it's something I'm always trying to improve on. I'm always trying to get better and just happy to be able to bring that to pass and hopefully carry on."

Asked if it as his best campaign for the club to date, he said: "Yes, most definitely in terms of goal-scoring.

"I've probably had better seasons dribbling and stuff like that, but this is the most efficient I have been and that's exactly what I want to do, be efficient. There's no point in dribbling if you're not helping the team."

Press Association

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