The Spanish tactician has urged the England international to continue to be aggressive, “go one against one” and push himself more into the opponents’ final third.
Recall that Raheem Sterling struggled to play regularly under Pep Guardiola earlier in the season due to his inconsistent performance.
But in recent games, the 26-year-old English winger has picked up fantastic form which has been very helpful for Manchester City’s progress in the Premier League and the UEFA Champions League.
For instance, Sterling has scored a goal in each of City’s last three games, including the UEFA Champions League group stage game against Paris Saint Germain.
Ahead of the Manchester City league game against West Ham United which will kick off at 15:00 on Sunday, November 28, Pep Guardiola hailed Sterling and said the England international would continue to fight to be better.
“I’m so glad for him, he’s helped us for sure. He will fight to be better and better”, the coach said.
“It is important for strikers and wingers to score and make assists. He was decisive and decisive in what we’ve done in recent years.
“Scoring goals can give confidence for these types of guys but he has to do better, be aggressive, goes one against one, arrives in the final third. This is the first step for him to come back.
“The attitude has always been good and I’ve always said to the players, ‘make demands of yourself but don’t put a lot of pressure on your shoulders.
“In a career as a player, you cannot always be 10 out of 10. You have highs and lows. The important thing is not to get that low.
“Go on the pitch when you have the opportunity to play and do your best. That’s all.”
So far this season, Sterling has played for Pep Guardiola in 17 games in which he scored 4 goals and provided 2 assists.
This output has been deemed very low for a player of Sterling’s status. Hence, Guardiola played him from the bench in some games until in recent times that he picked up a better form.
Coach Guardiola said: “When they do (lose form) they go back to the basics and they have to know that’s normal.
“In this crazy calendar, there is no time to rest. English players went into the final of the Euros and then two or three weeks later they come back and it’s the Community Shield, then Tottenham.
“You cannot imagine how difficult that is, especially for the talented players. Every three days they have to be creative.
“Sometimes to help the team the basics are enough. After that, the confidence comes back and the team are winning.
“I’m not going to tell Raheem he doesn’t have the quality he had in the last six years. He’s the same guy. Come back to the basics and step by step he will come back.”
Manchester City need to beat West Ham United at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday to continue to close the gap between them and Chelsea. Guardiola and his boys are currently sitting on the second spot on the league table with 26 points in 12 games, three points below Chelsea.
On the other hand, West Ham United must beat Manchester City on Sunday to stand a chance of remaining on the 4th spot on the league table. They are currently occupying the spot with 23 points in 12 games, three points above 5th placed Arsenal.