Pep Guardiola believes Raheem Sterling can improve at Man City
Last Updated: 11/03/19 5:26pm
Pep Guardiola believes Raheem Sterling can improve after the England international scored a hat-trick at the weekend.
Sterling's second-half hat-trick in City's 3-1 win over Watford on Saturday means he has now been directly involved in 22 home goals in all competitions this season, more than any other Premier League player.
Sterling has scored in 52 games in all competitions for, not losing any of those games (W50 D2) and winning each of the last 34, but Guardiola, nonetheless, has called for more from his talented forward.
"He didn't follow his full back two times [against Watford], the second time he dropped him," Guardiola said. "He lost two, three or four balls when he has to avoid it, because he conceded counter attacks and, many simple things.
"Of course I am so glad in terms of what he has done, scoring three goals. I would like to play the first half he played then score three goals, I would be the happiest man in the world.
"But I think it is good for myself too, to feel that we can do better, and I fell the first half was not the best first half Raheem has done this season. That's why I tell him, and we will work on that."
Guardiola was speaking ahead of City's Champions League last-16 second leg with Schalke at the Etihad on Tuesday night, where City hold a 3-2 advantage, despite having to have played much of the first leg with 10 men.
Despite City being firm favourites to progress, Guardiola issued caution over how knockout football can spring surprises.
"When we see the draw we always say who is going to win and after the first leg everyone thinks they know," Guardiola added. "Nobody expected PSG or Real Madrid, people say there was nothing to do, but it can be different, a red card, many things can happen.
"We are quite lucky to be at this point, as we played 10 v 11 for 20 minutes with 2-1 down. We could have been out. We are lucky, we scored and came back. We should make an incredible effort in every situation to go through. What happened in the first game can happen again.
"I said many times all the clubs in the group stages, last 16, eight want to win. It's so nice, it's 'wow', it's another step but it's difficult. In the last 16 if you go out it's a big disaster, it's a big success, being there, we are closer to doing that."