Raheem Sterling insists self doubt could be the biggest obstacle between Manchester City and their Champions League dream. The City forward struck a confident tone ahead of their date with destiny in Porto predicting Pep Guardiola’s side have the tools to overcome Chelsea.
But he maintained that banishing the inner demons of previous failures is the most important battle they have to win if they are to lift the trophy.
“It is now about focusing on winning that trophy and the only thing that can stop us are ourselves if I am honest,” said Sterling.
“It is a game where I expect a difficult test, but at the same time I expect us to pull through.”
City’s Champions League history has been a story of bad luck and poor judgement. In Guardiola’s time at the club they have crashed out to Monaco in the last 16, and lost in the quarter-finals to Liverpool, Tottenham and also Lyon last season.
“In the past we haven’t had the rub of the green and the luck that we needed,” said Sterling. “There have been games that we should have won and certain circumstances we haven’t.
“That is football at the end of the day and why we keep going and love it. This year, we played well and also had the luck that we needed.”
Sterling insists City’s dressing room has never been more confident or relaxed than it has been during this campaign.
And he maintained if City can reproduce their normal game it should be enough to beat Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea.
“The boys have been brilliant this year and we have another opportunity in the final against Chelsea to create something special again,” he said.
“Once you are winning trophies, you just want to win more. Hopefully that carries on into the weekend.
“I think the camp is pretty relaxed. It is the Champions League final, but at the same time we are footballers and we have to not let the occasion get to us and play our football.”
“They reached the final of the FA Cup and the Champions League and they have ended up in the top four. So, you can tell his job is paying off for them. He’s doing an amazing job.
“Their defensive consistency has improved a lot. They are very strong defensively and offensively they have a lot of resources as well.
“I think Tuchel had a great impact on the growth of Chelsea.Unfortunately, in the last two confrontations against them we were defeated, but I think we played well overall.
“Obviously, we made mistakes that can’t happen on the final, but I think the team is ready. If the team keeps playing the good football we have been playing over the last six months, I think we have a lot of chances to win the game.
“Of course, being a final, a Champions League final, it’s a completely different story. I hope the team can be focused and play a good game to get the final win.”