"We should have faith in him," Gareth Southgate stated after England's match-winning goal against Croatia.
Gareth Southgate lauded
after the Manchester City striker vanquished individual and collective nightmares in England's 1-0Euro 2020
victory against Croatia.
Sterling scored the game's only goal in the 57th minute after latching on to Kalvin Phillips' ball.
Much of the pre-match conjecture had centered on whether Sterling would – or should – keep his spot in Southgate's attacking line after a dismal season at club level.
He was also goalless in his previous 12 big tournament outings for the Three Lions, but Sterling has 12 in 16 appearances since the 2018 World Cup and has chosen the ideal moment to continue his productive run.
"I'm so pleased for Raheem. He's had this hex in the tournaments not being able to get the goal," Southgate told BBC Sport after England won their opening match of a European Championship at the 10th time of asking.
"I thought he was dangerous all day.
"He's a good player and his goalscoring records suggests that we should have faith with him, especially over the last few years. I think he was motivated to show that."
' assist capped a fantastic performance from the Leeds United midfielder, who perhaps justified his promotion to national team alongside
; these England's midfielder trio ensured Luka Modric and Croatia's skilled playmakers were unable to impose any lasting effect on the game.
Kalvin is a player who is so understated and has had a fantastic start to his international career," Southgate said.
"I thought he was immense throughout the game, I though they all were.
"Croatia, I think the key is to get pressure on their midfield players and we managed to do that. That limited the supply and the players at the back dealt with the long balls and read the game well.
"I think it was a day where everyone who go onto the pitch did well. We're going to need that for the next four weeks."