Liverpool mentally strong for final games
Raheem Sterling insists that Liverpool have the mental strength to secure their first league title in 24 years.
Brendan Rodgers’ side need a maximum of seven points from their final three matches to bring the title trophy to Anfield.
Sunday’s 3-2 victory at Norwich was Liverpool’s 11th successive league victory, and left them five points clear at the top of the Premier League. Second-placed Chelsea visits Anfield this coming weekend.
Sterling scored twice in that win, prompting Rodgers afterwards to describe him as "arguably the best young player in Europe".
The 19-year-old has played a key part in Liverpool’s surge for the title since the beginning of 2014, having been a fringe player during the first half of the season. He had made only one league start this season by the end of November, but has been a regular since. His form over the last five months has made him a likely candidate to go to this summer’s World Cup as part of the England squad.
But the winger insists that, for now, the focus remains on beating Chelsea this Sunday.
"Everyone in the changing room is really up for it," Sterling told British national newspapers. "It is a really big part of the season and we will just go in there to fight again. We will just take it as another game. We won’t concentrate too much on what is happening outside.
"We just want to take care of what is happening on the pitch. We want to get three more points. We come in every day, we see each other and we know what the dream is. We are keeping each other modest.
"If we keep working hard, there is a real goal at the end of it. We just have to keep our heads down, keep working hard and concentrate on Chelsea. We are working for each other and fighting for our lives. I don’t think we are nervous, we just know what we can get out of it."
Sterling broke into Liverpool’s first team in March 2012, when Kenny Dalglish was still the club’s manager, becoming a regular after Rodgers took charge that summer. The teenager’s form dipped during the second half of last season, before a thigh injury kept him out of the final seven weeks of the campaign.
Winning back a regular place proved to be a struggle, but Sterling praised Rodgers for keeping faith with him.
"He has had belief in me," said Sterling. "I knew I had a lot to give but now I have confidence and, right now, it’s sky high."