Raheem Sterling has heaped praise on Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers for his contribution to his fine form.

The 19-year-old winger has been playing, arguably, the best football of his fledgling career of late, with his recent displays making him as important to the Reds’ first-team as the likes of Luis Suarez, Daniel Sturridge and Steven Gerrard.

Although handed his debut by Kenny Dalglish, it has been Rodgers who has put his faith in the teenager, making him a regular starter last season despite the former QPR youth star being just 17 at the time.

Although he vanished from the starting XI as the campaign went on he has returned with aplomb this campaign, forming a fearsome attacking triumvirate with Suarez and Sturridge.

Sterling – who is widely being tipped to make England’s World Cup squad later this year – recognises the impact Rodgers has had on his development, and moved to praise his manager:

“I’d say he has got me settled off the pitch and he’s made me realise that I’m here on merit because of what I’ve done in the youth team.” He is quoted by the Liverpool Echo.

“He’s told me to do what I’ve been doing in the youth team and just be confident and get on the ball.”

Sterling also talked up his side’s title hopes after their stunning 3-0 weekend win at Old Trafford:

“We try to take every game slowly. The United game we just wanted to try our best and get the three points. We will try to take it step by step and then hopefully we will be where we need to be at the end of the season – right up there at the top of the table.”

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