Gareth Southgate is confident in Raheem Sterling’s ability to transform his club form to the England national team and reignite his international career.
The Three Lions play Slovenia on Thursday and are very aware, they need just three points to qualify for next year’s World Cup.
Sterling has not been in top form for England in their previous matches and was criticised for it. Southgate revealed the team had a visit from former England international, John Barnes, who advised them on how to deal with adversity.
“John came and spoke to us a few months ago,” Southgate said. “We have some very exciting talent who want to go and express themselves, and we want to give them the framework to do that.
“Raheem comes into that bracket. He is a tough lad. That’s one of the attributes I really like about him. He bounces back from disappointments and he goes again.
“I can see he is ready for tomorrow and looking forward to it. He is in a good moment with his club, he is working with a good coach there and we have huge belief in him as well.
“We want the crowd to be excited with what they’re watching, and he’s a player who can do that. He can beat people, his goalscoring record is improving, which is important for him, and he works hard for the team, chasing back and tackling.
“He’s not just an old-fashioned winger. He’s a 1994 birthday, so he’s not old at all, but he’s at a moment where, like a lot of these guys, the next few years are very important to establish themselves as top players. He recognises that.”