Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling has revealed how a sports psychiatrist helped him rediscover his form.
Sterling broke into Liverpool's first-team squad last season with a number of blistering performances, but suffered a slump in fortunes at the start of 2013-14 and fell out of favour in October and November.
But the 19-year-old, who is a strong contender for Roy Hodgson's England squad for this year's FIFA World Cup, has bounced back since December with nine goals and five assists in the Premier League as Liverpool lead the way in the title race.
Sterling reckons time spent with sports psychiatrist Dr Steve Peters - who will form part of the England backroom staff for the World Cup - helped him rediscover his positive, attacking style of play.
"Maybe on the outside people had the impression I've always been really confident," the teenager told the Liverpool Echo.
"But after a good start (to last season) I started looking for easy options rather than taking a chance myself, beating a man, taking a shot on myself.
"I'd stopped being natural, all the things that I'd done which got me into the first team in the first place.
"You could look at the (Manchester) City goal as an example. I'm not trying to sound cheeky or over confident but three or four months ago I would have squared rather than take the responsibility all for myself.
"My goal was always to play for Liverpool when I first came here and maybe for a while I thought that goal was achieved because I was one of the lucky ones to do it. But you realise that is not enough. There always has to be the next challenge, to achieve things and win things – making your mark.
"From December time I realised I had to start stamping my personality, running with the ball, running into the box, making goals, scoring goals. Not playing with that barrier, not to be worried about making mistakes."
Sterling added that his sessions with Dr Peters do not fit the stereotypical idea of psychiatry and are often incredibly simple.
"The way he works is brilliant. At first I thought it wasn't for me. On the outside you might think it's complicated but all the messages are very straightforward," Sterling said.
"He understands the players and the emotional side of the game. What he says really helps you.
"We use a motto 'focus on the ball, focus on the team'. I had a meeting with him before the City game.
"I thought it was going to last 20-25 minutes. So I walked in, sat down and he just said: 'focus on the ball, focus on the team'. 'Is that it?' I asked him but it was really important."
|Chelsea 1 Liverpool 0: Cahill´s header seals win|
|Grujic says Chelsea´s Matic told him to sign for Liverpool|
|Bolasie wants to see Berahino and Benteke at Crystal Palace|
|Rodgers hails ´outstanding result´ as Celtic draw|
|Walcott claims level of MLS is close to Premier League|
|Bayern Munich 3 AC Milan 3 (3-5 on penalties): Bonaventura seals win|
|Atletico Nacional 1 Independiente del Valle 0 (2-1 agg): Borja secures Copa Libertadores crown|
|Icardi absent again as Inter held by Estudiantes|
|Real Madrid 1 Paris Saint-Germain 3: Zidane oversees poor pre-season start|
|Hazard vows to rediscover best Chelsea form|
|Klopp reveals why he sent Sakho back to Liverpool|
|Tevez: Conte wanted me at Chelsea|
|Sunderland hopeful Defoe will be fit for Man City opener|
|Sundowns overcome Zamalek to book semi-final spot|
|Falcao scores as Monaco return ends in defeat to Fenerbahce|
|Southampton overcome Twente, Asoro stars for Sunderland|
|Man City must adapt to Guardiola tactics quickly - Denayer|
|Chelsea and Leicester to play in EFL Trophy as five Premier League clubs refuse|
|Tolisso pulls plug on €37.5m Napoli move to stay at Lyon|
|Ancelotti shrugging off Guardiola´s shadow|
|Uruguay international Lodeiro swaps Boca for Seattle|
|Ibrahimovic will bring United back to where they belong - Larsson|
|Transfer speculation frustrates Aubameyang|
|Willian ready for ´toughest Premier League season in history´|
|Astana 1 Celtic 1: Griffiths hits late equaliser|
|De Laurentiis feels betrayed by Higuain swapping Napoli for Juventus|
|Costa: Chelsea cannot be any worse than last season|
|Wilshere: Xhaka can hold Arsenal midfield together|
|Pato signs four-year deal with Villarreal|
|Higuain sets sights on Champions League after Juventus move|
|Lazio snap up Immobile from Sevilla|
|Batshuayi worth the money, insists Cahill|
|Arnautovic signs new Stoke deal|
|Smith leaves Liverpool for Bournemouth|
|Barcelona insist Arda Turan will stay|
|Andre Gomes: Barcelona suit my identity better than Real Madrid|
|Niersbach to appeal FIFA ban|
|Barcelona agree Mascherano renewal|
|Fernandinho can play in 10 positions - Guardiola|
|Reading´s kit launch is out of this world|
|Ben Arfa: I do not want to be PSG´s star player|
|FA Cup to trial fourth substitute|
|We want Balotelli and he wants us, says Besiktas chief|
|Crowd welcomes Higuain as he arrives for Juventus medical|
|Guardiola warns Man City stars: If you´re not fit, danger is coming|
|Mkhitaryan prepares to prove himself at United|
|Cavani: No pressure replacing Ibrahimovic|
|Wenger vows to keep transfer plans ´secret´ after Lacazette snub|
|Brannagan open to Championship loan move|
|Wenger wants to sign Mertesacker replacement|
|Ancelotti: Bayern´s transfer business done|
|Brisbane Roar sign former Danish international Kristensen|
|Verratti, Luiz missing for PSG|
|Sounders part ways with foundation coach Schmid|
|Mane turned down Manchester United for Liverpool|
|Zidane on Pogba: Until August 31, anything can happen|
|Mkhitaryan driven by father´s death|
|Inter rejected Napoli offer for Icardi, says president|
|Clichy: City fighting fit after Guardiola pizza ban|
|Everton and Burnley win as Hull are held|
|Ajax held by PAOK after Cillessen howler|
|Conte left frustrated by ´crazy´ money in transfer market|
|Neymar makes Barcelona case to Gabriel Jesus|
|Rostov comeback twice for Champions League draw with Anderlecht.|
|Arsenal defender Mertesacker set for lengthy lay-off|
|Conte not selling ´fantastic´ Matic|
|Ibrahimovic keen on MLS and Beckham´s Miami project|
|Neymar: I play for Messi, he´s the man|
|Barcelona reveal details of Andre Gomes deal|
|Suarez bullish over Barcelona prospects|
|Ajax claim Napoli keen on Milik to replace Higuain|
|Totti labels Higuain´s Juventus move ´a disaster´|
|Juventus confirm Higuain deal|
|Pato to Villarreal ´in the final stage´|
|PSG sign Lo Celso|
|Muller: Beating Dortmund will be more fun this season|
|Juventus sign Higuain from Napoli for €90m|
|Pastore: I´m like God in Paris|
|Injured Lanzini out of Olympics|
|Allegri unperturbed by Higuain fee|
|Menezes replaces Bento at Cruzeiro|
|Sporting rejected major bids from Inter and Liverpool for Joao Mario, claims father|
|Pochettino pleased by Tottenham despite Juventus defeat|
|Eriksson: Allardyce the right man for England|
|Mourinho makes United train after stepping off plane from China|
|Hazard can still match Messi, says Pedro|
|Pjanic shows there is life at Juve, with or without Pogba|
|Juventus 2 Tottenham 1: Benatia bags win for Serie A champions|
|Dembele: I am not the Bundesliga´s next superstar|
|Lyon claim €35m Arsenal offer for Lacazette rejected|
|Donnarumma dreaming of Milan captaincy as he eyes long-term stay|
|Robson: Ibrahimovic can match Van Persie´s first year at United|
|Rooney should remain England captain - Eriksson|
|Emery wants new striker at PSG|
|Santos accept Juventus bid for Gabriel|
|Eriksson expects Sweden to try and tempt Ibrahimovic out of retirement|
|Spurs signing Janssen almost quit|
|Leicester stay best for Mahrez - Ranieri|
|Allardyce to take Mourinho cue on Rooney|
|Ings ready to outdo big-money signings|
|Henderson optimistic over Liverpool campaign|
|Allardyce hardened to the challenge of England post|