Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has challenged winger Raheem Sterling to improve in front of goal.
Sterling, who joined from Liverpool in July following a long-running transfer saga, took his tally for the season to eight in all competitions with a double in a 4-2 win over Borussia Monchengladbach in the Champions League on Wednesday.
Despite that performance, Pellegrini – speaking in his pre-match media conference ahead of Saturday’s game with Swansea City – said: “Raheem always works very well from the first day until now.
“Maybe he plays one game better, then the other not so good – like every player. But playing with Kun [Aguero], Yaya [Toure] and David [Silva] every day is important for a young player.
“Raheem is doing what we expect but he must keep improving – he can’t be a player who just scores 11 goals as he did another season. I hope going forward he will score more, he will take the best solution more often.
“He’s not just a striker but one of his targets must be to improve the amount of goals he scores every season.
“One of the most important things is he’s a very good player but his age – he’s just 21, so he has a lot of years to improve. In the way he’s doing, we’ll see he’ll improve year by year.”
City will be facing a managerless Swansea side following the sacking of Garry Monk, who was relieved of his duties on Wednesday after a run of one win in 11 games.
Pellegrini added: “I don’t think the problem with Swansea was the manager – Monk made a very good season with Swansea last season.
“They’re in a bad moment but it’s not down to one person – in football, you’re never surprised about anything but I’m sure he’s the same good manager he was last year.
“Normally in England some years ago there was more patience with managers. Garry Monk had a great season last season, now he’s sacked because they lost two or three in a row. For every team, in my opinion, they would play better if they stick with the same manager.
“I don’t think that’s the way to manage a club.”