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Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini believes that Raheem Sterling can be more prolific for his new employers than he was for former club Liverpool.
Sterling can be Man City provider, says Pellegrini

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini believes that Raheem Sterling can be more prolific for his new employers than he was for former club Liverpool.

Sterling scored the first hat-trick of his senior career as City beat Bournemouth 5-1 on Saturday to stay top of the Premier League, and Pellegrini praised the England forward -- who could cost City up to £49 million ($75.7 million, 66.7 million euros) -- for his contribution.

Moved into a central role in the absence of the injured Sergio Aguero, Sterling took his goal tally for City to five and Pellegrini thinks he can go well beyond the 11 goals he mustered for Liverpool last season.

"I think it was important for Raheem to score three goals," said the Chilean, whose side visit third-place Manchester United in the Manchester derby next weekend.

"He's a very young player and I'm sure he will continue improving in the future. I don't think he's a striker in the way that Kun (Aguero) or (Wilfried) Bony is. But he's a player who must improve his finishing.

"I said when he arrived here that he must improve. I'm sure that this season he will score more goals than in previous seasons when he played for Liverpool."

Pellegrini substituted Sterling after a poor individual first-half performance during City's 6-1 thrashing of Newcastle United two weeks ago, but he said the move had not left the 20-year-old disheartened.

"He didn't lose confidence after the Newcastle game, because I spoke to him as I took him off," Pellegrini said. 

"He didn't play well. But all the players can have a bad day.

"But I think this game was important for him, and for the team to change his position. Near Bony, he can create more space, because Bony supports very well with the ball.

"We put Kevin De Bruyne in Raheem's position and that was good and allowed him to score more goals."

- 'Individual errors' -

City took advantage of a Bournemouth side who were left in defensive disarray after goalkeeper Artur Boruc had to pull out with a thigh injury 20 minutes before kick-off.

Stand-in Adam Federici was at fault for two of City's goals, dropping a simple cross at the feet of Bony, who pounced to score the first goal of a double.

Visiting manager Eddie Howe felt that his team had paid the price for making too many avoidable mistakes.

Bournemouth were 2-0 down inside the first 11 minutes and were well beaten despite Glenn Murray pulling a goal back in the first half.

"We were not going to underestimate the size of the task we had today (Saturday). We always knew it was going to be very difficult," he said.

"It was our first experience of the top four and we didn't deal with it very well.

"We've made quite a few individual errors and I think if you come to a place such as this, the last thing you need to do is give them goals, especially early in the game.

"That made it very difficult for us. The pleasing thing is that we showed character in the second half. There was a spell during the first half where I felt we were on top, but we couldn't maintain it."

Next up for City is a Champions League home game with Europa League champions Sevilla on Wednesday.

Bournemouth, meanwhile, have a week to lick their wounds before next weekend's home game with Tottenham Hotspur.

Source: Mike WHALLEY/ AFP
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