Raheem Sterling has come “full circle” and is now an England hero after his hat-trick on Friday, according to boss Gareth Southgate. Sterling got a standing ovation at Wembley when he was substituted after his treble in the 5-0 win for Southgate’s men over the Czech Republic.
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It is all a far cry from the dark days of the past when he was held responsible by the crowd for England’s shortcomings under previous managers. “I’m delighted for him to get the reaction that he did from the crowd here,” said Southgate.
“We can’t hide from the fact that he’s had difficult moments with England and he’s turned that full circle. “I also think the goals in Spain were an important moment for him. You could see the release that brought. “At times, you could almost see the thought process in the past, but he’s hungry for goals. “I know he’s spoken about that before, of how he’s added that incentive to his game, and I thought he was devastating.”