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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has praised Footballer of the Year and Premier League Golden Boot contender Raheem Sterling for being able to handle the intensity of his own management methods.

Sterling has flourished in Guardiola's three years at The Etihad and started this season with a bang - scoring four goals in City's opening two league games ahead of this afternoon's trip to Bournemouth.

But it hasn't always been a serene journey for the star forward who has already won 51 England caps at the relatively tender age of 24.

Pep Guardiola has praised Raheem Sterling for handling his criticism and working on his game

Pep Guardiola has praised Raheem Sterling for handling his criticism and working on his game

Guardiola says Sterling deserves all the credit for his improvement in front of goal

Guardiola says Sterling deserves all the credit for his improvement in front of goal

Sterling has scored four goals in Manchester City's opening two Premier League games

Sterling has scored four goals in Manchester City's opening two Premier League games

Guardiola's driven personality has led him to regularly take Sterling aside to dish out instructions or criticisms in full public glare.

Sterling got an impromptu coaching lesson-cum-grilling from the City boss on the Wembley sidelines after they'd won the FA Cup Final in May by a record score of 6-0. He was also grabbed by his manager after the full-time whistle of last season's Manchester derby win at The Etihad and told to cut out any showboating.

'It's good when a player has an understanding what we want to do as a group. I think he has an incredible reception to our talks, like when Mikel (assistant-coach Mikel Arteta) or myself talk with him,' explained Guardiola.

'It's nice when they don't get the feeling like "Oh, why is he always pushing or criticising me". That is how he has improved.

'He's been open from the day we arrived more than three seasons ago and that is why he is becoming one incredible, exceptional player. He plays every three days, no injuries, he runs a lot, his genetics are so strong.

Guardiola says Sterling's genetics are 'so strong' and that he is becoming an 'incredible player'

Guardiola says Sterling's genetics are 'so strong' and that he is becoming an 'incredible player'

'He is a better player and finisher now (than 2016) but it's all his credit and desire to be better.

'Normally for wingers to score goals is not easy because they tend to be further away from the goals. But he moves from side to side and has an incredible sense of getting into the box with the right tempo. He is fantastic at that.

'Some players play good but forget the goal is there. He always has a sense where the goal is and attacks the ball.'

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