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Player of the year award meaningless without title - City's Sterling

Raheem Sterling says being nominated for the Professional Footballers' Association Player of the Year award will mean nothing if Manchester City do not win the Premier League title. Credit: PA

Raheem Sterling says being nominated for the Professional Footballers' Association Player of the Year award will mean nothing if Manchester City do not win the Premier League title.

The England international is one of the favourites for the honour, with his main rival Liverpool's Virgil Van Dijk.

City and Liverpool are in a two-way fight for the title and Sterling, who revealed he voted for Harry Kane, his England team-mate not making the six-man shortlist, is interested solely in helping his team.

"It's nice to be recognised on that front, but, to be honest, if we don't win the Premier League, I don't really want to be in contention," he said.

"What I want to do is win the Premier League, win the FA Cup, then think about stuff like that, even though the awards are before that.

"Without that, it doesn't mean much to me really. I voted for Harry Kane. My vote for him is because he scores so many goals every year, he does so much for the team, gives so much for his team.

"I thought being around him in the national team, how he puts in his work, his work ethic, how he looks after himself. He's always there, especially coming back from injury, as a professional I looked at him and that's my reason for voting for him, seeing him on a day-to-day with the national team."

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Dele Alli: 'Sterling criticism is the worst I've seen'

Alli and Sterling have struck up a good understanding on the pitch for England. Credit: PA

Dele Alli has described criticism directed at Raheem Sterling as the worst he has seen.

The Manchester City forward was singled out in particular for his performances at Euro 2016 as England crashed out to Iceland in the last 16.

Tottenham playmaker Alli told the OTRO app: "The worst I've ever seen is Raheem at the Euros. He is honestly one of the best people you could meet in terms of how he's dealt with everything.

"That was my first major tournament and Raheem's a year older than me. I don't know how I would have handled all the heat that they were putting on him.

"Raheem was playing first team a lot sooner than I was and was a much bigger name before I started coming onto the scene.

"I already had this picture of him from what I'd seen and when you meet him he's one of the nicest people I've ever worked with and he's so focused and dedicated. But you hear and read all this s**t about him."

Having faced consistent media criticism over a number of areas of his life, Sterling has recently been praised for taking the lead in calling out racism and is one of the hot favourites to be named player of the season.

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