Pochettino backs Sterling to prove Southgate wrong over England snub

Pochettino backs Sterling to prove Southgate wrong over England snub

October 7, 2023 at 6:01 PM
Chelsea winger Raheem Sterling
Chelsea winger Raheem Sterling. Photo: Oli SCARFF / AFP
Source: AFP

Mauricio Pochettino has urged Raheem Sterling to prove England boss Gareth Southgate wrong after the Chelsea forward inspired Saturday's 4-1 rout of Burnley.

Sterling was left out of England's squad for their forthcoming friendly against Australia and the Euro 2024 qualifier against Italy.

The former Manchester City star has not played for England since last year's World Cup in Qatar and Southgate has chosen to leave him out of the last two squads.

Southgate has a wealth of options in wide positions in England's attack, but Sterling showed the qualities he can provide to drag Chelsea to victory at Turf Moor after French teenager Wilson Odobert scored a shock opener for the struggling Clarets.

Sterling's cross deflected off Ameen Al Dakhil for the equaliser and he also won the penalty that Cole Palmer scored for his first Chelsea goal.

He got on the scoresheet himself with a cool finish in the 65th minute before having a hand in Nicolas Jackson's late goal.

"I think a player with his experience knows he needs to perform and to show the manager of the national team he was wrong in the decision," Pochettino said.

"Only with performances and scoring goals is he going to show he deserved to go."

Pochettino also revelled in Chelsea recording successive league wins for the first time since March and scoring four or more goals for the first time since beating Southampton 6-0 in April 2022.

After a troubled start to his reign, Pochettino has now overseen three consecutive victories in all competitions to ease the pressure a little.

"It was a fantastic performance, they deserve it and I'm happy for them to go into the national break with a different feeling," he said.

"We need to be consistent. We have good competition, a very talented squad but at the moment for different reasons we cannot use all of the potential from the squad.

"But I think with time we are going to be in the position we want to be.

"With all the players fit there will be massive competition and that's going to be good for the team to keep the level we need to fight for big things."

AFP photo