Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling feels that he was stifled under Manuel Pellegrini last season.

Pellegrini stifled me - Sterling

Pellegrini stifled me - Sterling

The England international has looked like a new player under Pep Guardiola this term, netting five goals and picking up six assists as they sit unbeaten at the top of the table.

However, he had been written off as a flop by City fans at the end of the 2015-16 campaign after struggling to impose himself after joining from Liverpool.

The 21-year-old claims that Pellegrini’s style restricted him from performing at his best but feels that Guardiola’s approach has allowed him to blossom.

Sterling said: “It was really difficult because I didn’t feel I could play my natural game [under Pellegrini].

“Everyone was two-touch kings. The whole training session was based on two touches. I wasn’t able to dribble. I like to dribble and I like to have fun and take players on.

“But you can’t do that with two touches. Sometimes, the way it works is that what you do in training sessions is what you do in the game. You get in a habit.

“Coming in this year, it’s been different.

“I had five minutes with Pep and he showed me on the board where he wants me to be and what he wants me to do and he said the rest was down to me.

“He said with my ability I needed to get at my defenders, try to make crosses and score and as soon as I lose the ball, get back into position.”