Gareth Southgate lavishes praise on Raheem Sterling after forward helps England breeze past Bulgaria
- Raheem Sterling was influential as England defeat Bulgaria at Wembley
- Sterling was among the goals in the 4-0 win which saw England top Group A
- Gareth Southgate feels Sterling is now getting the plaudits he deserves
- The Three Lions boss outlines what areas Sterling has progressed in
Gareth Southgate claims Raheem Sterling is now a different player to two years ago – and the England coach believes his newfound ‘ruthlessness’ in front of goal has earned him the plaudits he always deserved.
Sterling scored one and created another as England breezed past Buglaria at Wembley to keep up their perfect start to Euro 2020 qualification.
The Manchester City star has now amassed seven goals and two assists in his last seven games for the Three Lions – as many as he picked up in his previous 33 appearances.
Raheem Sterling was on target again as England defeated Bulgaria at Wembley
Sterling has been criticised for his England performances in the past, but he was given a standing ovation when he came off with 20 minutes to go and Southgate said he was ‘outstanding’ in the 4-0 win.
‘He’ll probably have the hump that he’s only got one today because his mindset has shifted so much towards that desire to score goals, whereas two years ago when we were working with him, he was still a dangerous player, but he just didn’t have that same desire to get into those areas and that ruthlessness in front of goal or that mindset of disappointment when he doesn’t score,’ Southgate said.
‘I am delighted for him because he has for such a long time been such an important part of our team and what we do. Now he’s reaping the personal gain of the goals and also the acknowledgement publicly that he should get.’
Gareth Southgate believes the forward is now reaping the praise he always deserved
It was Sterling’s pressing that created Kane’s opener as Bulgaria were caught out trying to play out from the back and afterwards Southgate added: ‘I thought that he was outstanding, in the first half in particular where it was difficult to find space… he was a constant threat throughout that period and his willingness to work without the ball to go and press and win the ball back for the first goal set absolutely the right tone for the team.’