Fresh off the back of a Man of the Match performance against a hapless Tottenham Hotspur side, Raheem Sterling is a completely different player than the worn out overplayed version of himself that saw out the second half of the 2012-13 season. There's always a danger for a young player with Sterling's talents to get himself off track before he hits the prime of his career, but the winger attributes his groundedness to his veteran teammates.
"I have the confidence to go and play as I have got players like Luis [Suarez] and Stevie giving me encouragement," Sterling said. "It's a credit to them. High-end players like Steven Gerrard will always make sure your feet are firmly on the floor. I'm not that type of person, so I don't think that would be a problem really. There will never be a problem with my feet coming off the floor.
Between Steven "Gucci" Gerrard and Brendan "Steady " Rodgers, Sterling has more than enough experienced football types in his life to help him mature into his twenties as a player. But Sterling has his own post-match moments of reflection to help him develop his game, as well as the requisite supports in place to help him implement what he's observed about himself.
"I try to switch off after every game," he continued. "I try to watch my performances two days after, once everything has settled down, and I have a look when I'm ready to focus. It's also great to have a manager that has belief in you. For a young player that's all you cry out for. I'm grateful that he has so much belief in me."
That it takes Sterling a few days to come down from the high of winning a match speaks volumes as to the buzz around Anfield this season, and not just in terms of Liverpool's success on the pitch. Like many teammates before him, Sterling has been impressed with the home fans this season, and with the cacophany of the crowd at its ear-splitting best on Sunday against Tottenham, the player got a taste of what the whole team will experience in the fall should they qualify for the continent's top club competition once more.
"I had heard about the fans being like that on Champions League nights but it was great to actually experience it [on Sunday]," Sterling added. "It was the best atmosphere I have ever played in. I have heard a lot from Flanno and Stevie what it can be like in here on Champions League nights. It's all to dream about. We all know what the dream is and we are all working to make the dream a reality."