Manchester City attacker Raheem Sterling has nothing to prove in Sunday's League Cup final against Liverpool, according to Manuel Pellegrini.
Since his £44million move from Liverpool to City in the off-season, Sterling has faced his former club once – and that resulted in a 4-1 loss in November.
Having made the switch due to his claimed desire to win trophies, the England international gets his chance with the first major one of the campaign up for grabs at Wembley.
Despite that, Pellegrini said the 21-year-old was under no more pressure to deliver.
"For every player it is never comfortable to play against an old team. Everyone has links, friends inside the club," the Chilean said.
"But he is a professional player. He came here to win titles. I'm sure he will have a very good performance.
"I don't think he has anything to prove. For him that motivation is very good. I hope he will be focused just on having a good performance and not thinking about the boos he receives during the game or what happened in the past.
"He is now a Manchester City player and he will try to win for us."
Pellegrini said Sterling would be measured by City's success as a team, and is hopeful the winger continues to get better.
"He continues to improve and give a lot of things to our squad. He has a lot of speed, good technique, goals – that’s why we bought him," he said.
"I’m sure he can be a very successful player but it will depend on the way he improves."
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