Search

Football: Brent boy Raheem Sterling wants to feel the love at Wembley Stadium as England host Italy

PUBLISHED: 12:30 27 March 2018

England's Raheem Sterling (pic: Mike Egerton/PA)

England's Raheem Sterling (pic: Mike Egerton/PA)

PA Archive/PA Images

Three Lions continue preparation for World Cup with friendly against Azzurri

Raheem Sterling wants to feel the love from England fans ahead of the World Cup as he sets his sights on replicating his Manchester City form on the international stage.

Sterling has never had the smoothest relationship with supporters of the national side, memorably dubbing himself ‘the hated one’ in an Instagram post during Euro 2016.

The 23-year-old has clearly felt the jeers more keenly than the cheers during his international career, but he has appealed for the England faithful to rally behind both him and the team before they take on the world in Russia.

Wembley will get the chance to respond during the friendly against Italy on Tuesday night and Sterling believes an uplifting show of support would lift the side immeasurably.

“I feel sometimes there’s a bit too much negativity. I would love to hear some positive notes going in, just to make the boys know that everyone’s behind them,” he told BBC Radio Five Live.

“If you want your country to do well, as everyone says, bring a positive light into it. Make the boys go off to the World Cup with clear heads, knowing everyone’s behind them, everyone’s with them.

“We know what we can do, I believe what we can do, it’s just having that support and that backing...you know, feel loved.

“Trust me, I think you’ll definitely see a better England.”

Reflecting on his difficult experiences in France two years ago, he said: “As young boy, I was 20-21...around that age, I didn’t think I was being treated right.

“There was a lot of talk, a lot of pressure, I didn’t think I was being spoken about in a fair manner.”

He is now thriving under the watchful eye of Pep Guardiola, enjoying the most productive season of his career with 20 goals in all competitions.

By contrast he has struck just twice in 36 caps for his country and not since October 2015.

Sterling admits that is a poor return on his ability and is eager to put things right.

“I should be scoring a lot more for England,” he said.

“I’ve done that at my club, I wasn’t scoring a lot of goals there, but turned it around and started scoring. Same with England, I put a lot of pressure on myself to do well and score more. It gives you a lot of confidence when you do well for your club and you want to do as much as you can for your country.

“It will be a matter of time. I do have that feeling that it is going to come soon.”

Sterling has become something of a last-gasp specialist at City, hitting a series of important late goals, and jokingly bemoaned Southgate’s reluctance to leave him on the field for the full 90 minutes.

He completed just one of his seven qualifying appearances in the last campaign, substituted four times and coming from the bench twice, but he has clearly played his way into a key role under Guardiola’s guidance.

“You can see the confidence in him,” said Southgate.

“You can see the positions he’s taking up, his belief in front of goal, he’s scored more goals this week in training than I’ve ever seen.

“That’s not necessarily because he’s technically better, he’s just thinking about the types of finishes a little bit more. Not snatching at things, passing into the net. More confident. More composed.

“What we’ve got to do as a team is create more chances as he gets at club level, that’s the next step for us.”

Latest Hampstead & Highgate Sports News

Yesterday, 18:09

Mark McCall called his depleted Saracens squad “amazing” after they fought back to beat Sale Sharks 31-25 and maintain their unbeaten start to the Gallagher Premiership season.

Yesterday, 15:44

Gallagher Premiership: Saracens 31 Sale Sharks 25

Fri, 17:00

Sarries back in league action on Saturday after exertions in Heineken Champions Cup and Premiership Rugby Cup

Fri, 11:00

Haringey Aquatics’ Shakil Giordani won a fantastic five gold medals at the London Winter Championships.

Fri, 10:00

Hampstead & Westminster’s Harry Martin admits he is starting to feel old, as he prepares to compete in the World Cup in India later this month.

Fri, 09:00

Hampstead & Westminster had a National League win double at Maida Vale to maintain their fine start to the season.

Fri, 08:00

London All-Stars and London Titans are gearing up for an epic weekend of wheelchair basketball, as the Lord’s Taverners Junior Leagues returns for the 2018/19 season.

Thu, 19:00

Arsenal midfielder Lucas Torreira says the intense rivalry between Uruguay and Brazil will make their encounter at the Emirates Stadium a competitive and full-blooded affair.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Looking to get your child interested in a sport? Allianz Park, home to rugby union team Saracens, welcomes people of all ages to join their family of supporters and discover how their core values Honesty, Discipline, Humility and Work Rate underpin everything they do off and on the pitch.

As part of a major refurb, the London Marriott Hotel Maida Vale has renamed its three new-look function rooms to reflect the geography and rich history of the area. The largest, perfect for weddings and large meetings, is named after a Hampstead subterranean river, The Westbourne.

Londoners seeking high quality houses for sale within easy commuting distance of the capital are being advised to look north to St Albans’ prestigious Gabriel Square development.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read Hampstead & Highgate sport

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now