Raheem Sterling has revealed that an improved mentality is the secret of Manchester City’s success under Pep Guardiola.
City became the first team to retain the Premier League title since 2009, while they have also won the Carabao Cup in each of the last two seasons and are through to the final of the FA Cup, where they will take on Watford on Saturday.
Sterling, who has been one of City’s best performers this season, disclosed that Guardiola introduced a fines system to punish players for being late.
Asked about the main difference made by Guardiola, Sterling told The Mirror: “It’s got to be mentality. He tried to change that, change the mentality, he brought in fines and, I don’t want to talk about it in too much detail, but fines to keep people in check to make sure we were serious and ready.”
“They were just for things like being late, being late for a meeting, little things to make sure your mentality is right, you are not slipping away. Then we showed we were, he took the fines out, but credit to him because the standard has actually been raised this season.”
City won the Premier League on the final day of the season, finishing just one point ahead of Liverpool in an enthralling title race. Sterling feels that games against his old club are now the biggest occasions for City fans as opposed to clashes against Manchester United.
Sterling told The Mirror: “Every time we play Liverpool now, that’s when the stadium is at its loudest, the fans are roaring.”
City’s 2-1 victory at home to Liverpool in January was vital in determining the outcome of the title race, according to Sterling.
The winger scored 23 goals across all competitions during an excellent campaign, while he provided 17 assists. City won 32 of their 38 league fixtures, and managed to find the net on 95 occasions.