Raheem Sterling insists that he is working hard with the Liverpool staff to improve his strength after admitting he ‘is a bit skinny’ and wants to get stronger to cope up with the demands of club and international football.

The Reds winger reportedly complained of tiredness before the game against Estonia on Sunday and was subsequently benched but he came on in the second half to earn a decisive freekick which ultimately settled the contest in favor of England. Sterling has been criticized for this but he is adamant that footballers work extremely hard from young age that goes unseen by the general public.

Speaking to Forever Sports Magazine, Sterling claimed: “I’m always active, always working out, so you do get an athlete’s body. I’m a bit skinny at the moment so I’m working on that, not too much [muscle], as I don’t want to be too top heavy. I’ll be in the gym working, trying to get internally stronger.”

“I try to not lift too many weights. The people at the club [Liverpool] have been trying to get me to do core as much as possible – that’s been a big factor for me so I try to do that at least a couple of times a week. I have the odd day where I do work on upper body and stuff like that and try to get myself stronger and fitter. There are specialists at the club who are always working on this stuff with you, and are always working on all these ways to improve, and how to get to the next level. That’s one of the steps that I’m taking – at this moment in time, I’m just trying to work hard in the gym, and on the pitch as well, to try to get as better as possible.”

“I don’t think some people realise the journey that some footballers have come on. Most people have started aged 7, 8, 9 or 10 and some make it to the last important step and some don’t, so it’s really [a] make or break [situation] initially that we’re in. We work for it from a young age and people don’t see it until we’re in the public eye, so they’re probably just thinking that we’re born into playing football really, but it’s a journey we’ve come on.We do put hours in off the field as well and try to give back as much as possible as we do on the field.”

“I do keepy-uppies literally every day on the training field but I don’t do as many skills as I used to do when I was younger. I used to have 10 yards of space and no-one around me and used to do six or seven stepovers, but there’s no point if you’re not putting the ball in the back of the net. You’ve got to realise that if you do little tricks, you’re going to get kicked in the Premier League. You’ve got to really know how to pass and keep the ball moving without getting caught and getting silly injuries.”

Sterling felt that there is enough talent in the country to achieve good results in recent years.”I think everyone in the England team can play. We’ve been unlucky in certain games and tournaments but I do see a bright future for England.It’s nice to hear the things people say but I don’t really take it in too much. I just try to block it out and concentrate purely on football, to improve and try to make people talk even more.”

Finally Sterling had some words on his Jamacian sprint star Warren Weir and his own unique running style.”He’s [Warren Weir] a good friend of mine and when I go to Jamaica, I try to see him or Usain as much as possible. If we’re not out together, we’re just having a laugh. I haven’t had a chance to get a kickabout with them yet, but I heard Usain thinks he’s a big player.”

“None of them [team-mates] have gotten to me yet about my running style, but we always have a joke and a laugh about different stuff. I haven’t been bantered so much about that, I’ve more had that on social networks.”

Sterling has made 14 apperances in all competitions this season for his club and country, scoring three goals.