EPL

Guardiola took Sterling 'back to basics' to rediscover his form

By Sports Desk November 26, 2021

Pep Guardiola revealed he took Raheem Sterling "back to basics" to rediscover his form and says the Manchester City forward knows he is not at the peak of his powers.

England international Sterling had gone 13 games without goal for club and country before he was on target in a 4-1 Champions League win over Club Brugge this month.

The former Liverpool man followed that up with a sublime finish in the 3-0 victory over Everton last weekend and was also on target in a 2-1 defeat of Paris Saint-Germain in midweek.

Sterling has only started eight games for the Premier League champions this season on the back of an impressive Euro 2020.

Guardiola stated it is only normal that players go through frustrating spells and the City boss says there has been no special formula behind his resurgence.

Asked about Sterling's form, he said: "I'm so glad for him, it's helped us that's for sure. Of course, he will fight to do better and better and better.

"It's good for both wingers to score and get assists, he is decisive. Still he knows he can do better, one-v-one, but this is a step to come back in his best form."

The Spaniard added: "I took him back to basics, when you're at this level it's normal.

"This calendar, they have more and more games. Sometimes the guys are tired here [pointing to his head]. It's so difficult. It's just physical, physical, physical.

"So demanding a little bit less. Come back to the basics. Step by step basics will be enough when the confidence come back, you come back who you are.

"If one player [doesn't] play well their ability doesn't go. Raheem is still the same guy."

Guardiola revealed injured duo Jack Grealish and Phil Foden will be assessed on the eve of Sunday's Premier League encounter with West Ham to see if they are fit to return.

"They are training," said the former Barcelona boss. "They are much better. Especially Phil. Right now they are on a day off and in the morning we will see how they feel.

"We will not take risks but hopefully they will come back soon. For the last game [against PSG] we had just 15 players, Cole Palmer and James McAtee helped us. We need them back to help us."

Kevin De Bruyne remains in isolation following his positive coronavirus test, but Guardiola revealed the playmaker is "feeling better."

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