English Premiership

Guardiola wants more goals from Sterling

Raheem Sterling (Getty Images)
Raheem Sterling (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has admitted he expects more end product from Raheem Sterling in front of goal, but has backed the forward to continue improving.

The 22-year-old England international netted the match-winner in a 2-1 victory over Arsenal last weekend, ending a worrying run of 13 appearances in all competitions without a goal.

Guardiola praised Sterling's contribution and backed him to build on that performance during what promises to be a busy festive period in the English Premier League.

"In the last game, he came back to the level he started the season," Guardiola told reporters, ahead of the clash with Hull City on Boxing Day.

"The last month and a half, he was a little bit down. But you can forget how young he is, and he needs to live a lot of experience to become more stable. But in general, his performance was high.

"Of course, he is not our top scorer -- but he has to feel how beautiful it is to score goals, how important it is for the team, but for him as well.

"He scored a beautiful goal in the last game."

The Spaniard also highlighted the fact that Sterling would sometimes find it hard to get into the danger area because of his tactical instructions.

He added: "Sometimes I say to him: 'You need to play wide, wide, wide and stay there and make one-against-ones'. When he does that, it's difficult for him to get into the box.

"He can play more narrow, he can do that. But I think against Sunderland he played wide like a winger, but he arrived on the penalty spot.

"I think the strikers and the wingers they have to move how they feel, especially in the last metres."

Sterling has made 15 appearances in the EPL this season, netting five times and providing three assists.