Liverpool forward Raheem Sterling plans to “mix up” his fast-paced style of play for the new campaign as he aims to build on the progress he achieved during 2012-13.
Sterling has now been handed the opportunity to build on an encouraging season following his inclusion in Rodgers’ squad for the Reds’ preseason tour of Indonesia, Australia and Thailand this summer.
“The game in the Premier League is obviously fast paced so I’ll be looking to use my pace but also out-think defenders,” he told the Daily Mail. “I’ve got to mix my game up as well, which means not always dribbling and taking a few less touches. Everyone can see I like running with the ball so that could make it easy for defenders to read me. That’s why I need to mix it up.”
Despite missing much of the latter half of the 2012-13 campaign, Sterling made 36 appearances in all competitions, scoring twice in the process.
Now the winger is refusing to rest on his laurels as he looks to kick on from a season that was unfortunately halted by injury.
“There’s still a lot of work to be done, which I thought I should’ve done last season only for my injury,” the No. 31 continued. “I’m just looking forward to working hard in training and in games to try and show the manager what I can do to try and cement a place.
“Last season was a good start. The manager gave me the chance to go out on the pitch and show what I can do but then my injury started kicking in and my performances weren’t the best. It was obviously taking a toll on me so the manager took me out to protect me.
“It was also to get me ready for the new season. As a young lad I just have to go out there and play my game. People are going to be expecting things from me now but I’m not going to put pressure on myself.
“I’m just going to go out there and do my best for myself and the team. It’s a work in progress but hopefully on the tour I can show the manager that I can be part of the team.”