De Bruyne: "The way Sterling is responding is great."

De Bruyne praises Sterling reaction.

Raheem Sterling has been backed by his Manchester City teammate Kevin De Bruyne to prove critics wrong after his performance in their 4-1 win over Stoke City.

Sterling, who sealed a move to the Etihad from Anfield last summer, has come under immense scrutiny after underperforming towards the end of last season and during Euro 2016 with England.

But, with Pep Guardiola's arrival Sterling has begun to show the qualities he possesses and De Bruyne is backing him to continue being dangerous for the Citizens.

"He's a great player," said De Bruyne. "I don't care what people say about him after last season or the Euros – these things happen, footballers have ups and downs.

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"Hopefully he can continue [like] this for us now because he is very dangerous.

"I don't think he's really bothered about people talking about him. Everywhere he goes in England there are lots of fans of the opposing team shouting at him.

"I don't know why because he's a great English player, they should be supporting him instead of booing him. But that's the way it goes – at least City supporters will cheer him.

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"I don't know how it goes in England when he plays for the national team. Obviously he's been criticised a lot in the last year but the way he's responding is great. You can talk as much as you want off the pitch but you have to show it on the pitch – and Raheem is doing just that."

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