Sterling accepts City place not guaranteed
Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling accepts his place in the starting line-up is not guaranteed and that means he has to work harder to achieve his ambitions at the club.
The England international was named as a substitute for the second time in three matches in Tuesday's Capital One Cup quarter-final at home to Hull but came off the bench to help inspire a late rally to get them over the line against Championship opposition. With the likes of David Silva now fully fit and £55million summer signing Kevin de Bruyne - who scored twice against the Tigers - having a brilliant debut season, Sterling knows there is significant competition for places.
He knew that even before he left Liverpool nearly five months ago but it just means he has to seize every opportunity which comes his way.
"The players in the squad are capable of starting in any game and if the manager puts them out there, I am sure they will do the business," he said.
"Obviously everyone wants to play every game but that cannot happen at this level, you have to get rotated at times and that is what happened.
"I was on the bench (against Hull) but when I come on the pitch, I have to try to contribute as much as I can for the team."
Sterling's move to join Manuel Pellegrini's side - for an initial cost of £44million rising to £49million - has been big in many ways with a change of city naturally following on from his transfer.
The 20-year-old relocated from Southport to Cheshire and is already starting to feel at home there.
"It's been good. I like how quiet it is up here, (I live) out of the way of the city centre and it is really good to get your head down, work and achieve what I want to achieve," he added.
Helping the side get to a Wembley final is next on the list and despite being somewhat flattered by the 4-1 scoreline against Hull, it showed that City are not just about cutting teams to shreds with incisive football.
"Getting into the semi-final is a good start," Sterling said.
"I thought we did well to grind out a result and once the second one went in, I thought more would go in and they did.
"Teams come and sit in against us because they know the quality we possess throughout the squad.
"Hull did that and we had to be patient, keep the 1-0 lead and when the second goal did come, it opened up more."