Sterling looking forward United
Raheem Sterling is looking onwards and upwards after igniting his Manchester City career with a hat-trick in Saturday's 5-1 demolition of Bournemouth.
Wilfried Bony also struck twice as the Premier League leaders made light of the absences of key attacking duo Sergio Aguero and David Silva at the Etihad Stadium.
But with star striker Aguero likely to be out for at least a month and playmaker Silva for a fortnight, Sterling is aware there are tougher challenges ahead.
They start with Sevilla in the Champions League on Wednesday before City then travel to Old Trafford for next Sunday's derby against Manchester United.
Sterling said: "It is always good to be on the scoresheet and even better to get a hat-trick. That was my best game so far for City - I had chances and I finished them so I'm happy.
"But the game has gone now and I need to focus on the next game and hopefully try to get on the scoresheet then. We have to put this game to one side now and look towards Sevilla and Man United next weekend."
Sterling played just behind lone striker Bony with the outstanding Kevin de Bruyne to his left and Jesus Navas on the right.
Bournemouth did have a good early penalty appeal rejected but City's attack soon started to fire as Sterling and Bony both struck in the opening 11 minutes.
Glenn Murray replied but Sterling showed great composure to net another after being released by a brilliant De Bruyne pass and completed his treble before the interval, although Navas should have taken the initial chance.
Bony claimed his second with a neat turn in the closing minutes and Kelechi Iheanacho had another effort ruled out for offside.
Bony added: Bony said: "This is a good chance for me and it started to work, so let's hope it carries on like this."