Raheem Sterling has hit out at Liverpool fans for putting “a lot more pressure” on the 2014 squad than what he’s now accustomed to at Manchester City.
He’s quoted by Sky Sports, saying: “When I was [at Liverpool] I did feel a lot more pressure than when I’m here, with match-days and the fans. I think that did get to us a little bit.
“We were in control and we had the opportunity to see it through but we didn’t do that. [At City] we’re completely focused on each game and trying to win each game as it comes.”
Former “Cityzen” Pablo Zabaleta seems to echo Sterling’s concerns for our fans.
“When the team is not playing well, it seems the fans are a little bit tense. That can make it difficult for the players to concentrate and play well,” he told BBC Sport.
“There is a long way to go and it’s important to have won the Premier League previously because City have been in this situation before.
“Both times [City] won the league, we were behind the leaders at this point. Some players in the dressing room now have experience of that and that is going to be key.”
Liverpool are in a similar position to where we found ourselves in the 2013-14 season in that we’re atop the Premier League table and have a free-scoring City breathing down our necks.
However the Liverpool squad in 2014 was nothing compared to what we’ve got now; we had a strong spine for sure back then with Steven Gerrard, Daniel Agger and Luis Suarez but not much else.
At 19-years-old it’s actually unsurprising that Sterling found our fans to be intimidating – we’re a passionate bunch and he’s now comfortable with a club that doesn’t have that problem.
There’s a feeling among our fans that this year is different; we’ve spent the majority of the season looking down on the other 19 teams and it feels like it’s our time.
30 points remaining then.
Based on the reverse fixtures Liverpool pick up 28 points. Man City 24.
— Josh Williams (@DistanceCovered) February 27, 2019
Sterling believes that Pep Guardiola’s City are able to reclaim the Premier League title. “[Liverpool have] been playing some good football at times but we’re confident in ourselves and we’ve got the belief,” he continued.
“This year it’s a complete turnaround and we’re the ones who are chasing. It’s really close at the moment but I have full belief in the squad.”
City can move ahead of Liverpool this weekend as they face off against Bournemouth on Saturday, before the Merseyside Derby on Sunday, and a single point would suffice.
Following our 5-0 demolition of Watford – a team that recently beat Everton, I may add – the Reds are likely to be up for the fight against the Blues.
Hopefully the lads aren’t as easily succumb to pressure as Raheem!