Manchester City midfielder Fernandinho insists summer recruit Raheem Sterling can handle any criticism aimed in his direction.
Sterling moved to City in a big money move from Liverpool earlier this summer after rejecting the offer of a contract extension at Anfield.
The England international came under fire for the manner in which he pushed for a move away from Merseyside and was subjected to booing in City’s pre-season campaign.
Sterling is expected to make his competitive debut when City travel to West Brom on Monday and Fernandinho has backed his new team-mate to handle any pressure placed on him this season.
He told Sky Sports: "I think he is a strong character with the right personality.
"I remember seeing him in an interview talking about his determination to win trophies and I'm sure he will be able to manage the situation."
City are 8/13 to take all three points at West Brom and 5000/1 to win the Premier League outright this season.
Fernandinho is confident his side can wrestle the league crown away from Chelsea, but he feels they must be stronger at the back than they were in the previous campaign.
He added: "The biggest thing to improve is defensively. The attacking part of the team is very strong, and it's about improving consistency in defence.
"Of course that includes myself, as part of my role. I believe we have learned the lesson and I'm confident the new season will be much better."
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