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Manuel Pellegrini: Raheem Sterling is prepared to face hostile Anfield reception


Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini says Raheem Sterling will not feel any additional pressure when he returns to Anfield.

The 21-year-old rejected £100,000-a-week deal last season as he opted to leave the club to join the Citizens.

But the Chilean is convinced the youngster will cope with the hostile reception he will receive from his old fans.

"I don't know what the starting XI will be yet, but one player who I'm sure will start is Raheem Sterling," Pellegrini explained.

"He's a young man, a young player starting his career, but he knows how to deal with pressure.

"He'll receive the same treatment tomorrow as he did at the weekend, but I'm sure he can play without a problem, and he'll be a very important player, as he was in last game.

"I don't have any doubts about him, it's important for him to play under pressure, that's what big players do.

"I have 100 per cent trust in Raheem. He will play tomorrow and he'll be important.

"I think in the way he played the other day he demonstrated - maybe he missed a goal - he worked, was always concentrated, and he was difficult for Nathaniel Clyne one one.

"[The title race?] If we are nine points behind the leader the range of error is less.

"If the maths say you can do it, you must always trust you can do it. I am sure our team will continue growing from now until the end of the season.

"When you have experience, it's easier. When you see what happens over the seasons, you must trust. I remember two years before I arrived, when City won the title with Mancini, weren't we eight points behind United? Anything can happen."

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Manuel Pellegrini, Raheem Sterling