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24th Apr 2015

Raheem Sterling ignores critics over stalled Liverpool contract talks

Matt Stanger

It’s been a testing month for Raheem Sterling.

After deciding to put talks over a new Liverpool contract on hold until the end of the season, the 20-year-old was caught up in the media’s recent obsession with ‘hippy crack’ following leaked images of him inhaling the legal high.

But in an interview with BT Sport, Sterling says he is ignoring his critics to focus on giving his best for the Reds until the end of the campaign.

“Everyone has their opinion on me at this moment in time but I’m just a kid who loves to play football and to try and improve every day and be the best I can be,” said the England international.

“It just goes in one ear and goes out the other. I don’t read anything, don’t look at anything and, for me, it’s all football. I’m genuinely focused on doing my best for this football club.”

Leicester City v Liverpool - Premier League

Sterling’s contract runs for another two years at Anfield, but it’s thought he is looking for a considerable pay rise from £35,000 a week to £150,000.

Those reports have prompted an angry reaction from some fans, who believe the winger needs to deliver more than his 11 goals and eight assists in all competitions to deserve such enormous rewards.

“I set targets for myself at the start of the season and I’m probably a few goals behind where I wanted to be,” said Sterling of his contribution this season.

“I’m my own biggest critic. I don’t need anyone to tell me when I’ve played badly. I know when I’ve done bad, I’m always looking where I could have done better or scored an extra goal.

“This is the world that we live in. You look at the players like Ronaldo and these players are critical on themselves. These are the people that you need to idolise and look up to.”