England boss Gareth Southgate claims not to have been surprised with Raheem Sterling’s performance as he had seen what he is capable of doing during the week.
Southgate however, showered praises on Sterling because his hat-trick kicked off England’s Euro 2020 qualification for his team. He is happy the crowd reacted the way they did for Sterling and adds that the midfielder is really confident at the moment.
Sterling scored his first treble for England which gave Harry Kane an opportunity to score the second goal in a penalty against the Czech Republic last Friday night.
“I saw what I’ve seen all week from him, so the level he hit didn’t surprise me,” manager Southgate said of Sterling via ITV.
“He’s in a really confident moment, not only on the field but off the field he’s so mature and comfortable in himself.
“I think I talked about that earlier in the week, really, how I’ve seen that.
“So I’m delighted for him to get the reaction that he did from the crowd here.
“We can’t hide from the fact that he’s had difficult moments with England and he’s turned that full circle.
“I also think the goals in Spain were an important moment for him. You could see the release that had brought.
“And his finishes there and tonight were finishes that he was just taking on without thinking too much.
“At times, you could almost see the thought process in the past, but he’s hungry for those goals.
“I know he’s spoken about that before, of how he’s added that incentive to his game and I thought he was devastating tonight.”
England will face Montenegro in Podgorica on Monday night.