"It is his head [that is different]", said the City manager.
"I know people say we have a lot of money".
It was Max Meyer who had the visitors' best chance, but the German global, who is still looking for his first Palace goal since a summer move from Schalke, fired over when well-placed on the edge of the area.
The Citizens had their ninth top-flight win of the season wrapped up with less than a quarter of the game played, finding themselves three goals to the good through a Wesley Hoedt own goal and strikes from Sergio Aguero and David Silva.
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Sterling laid on the second for Aguero six minutes later and it wasn't long before it was 3-0, Sterling chipping over a cross and the ball falling invitingly for Silva to lash home.
While City celebrated their big win, it was a double celebration for their striker Aguero who achieved a milestone; reaching 150 Premier League goals on Sunday.
City were rampant against Saints and all but wrapped up the game inside the opening 18 minutes.
Sterling's comments could be seen as a further sign of encouragement that he is close to agreeing a new contract with the defending champions, who are two points clear of Chelsea and Liverpool at the top of the Premier League.
Southampton, without a victory in six league games, pulled a goal back in the 29th minute when Danny Ings was brought down in the box and picked himself up to stroke the penalty past goalkeeper Ederson.
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Dorsett, a former first-round pick of the Indianapolis Colts, got off to a hot start this season, his second in New England. By the time they open another, Thomas' career will be in its twilight, and who knows? He doesn't hit the market until 2020.
However there was never a hint that Southampton might be able to launch anything resembling a fightback and City ended the half as they had begun it - by scoring.
"That guy is always looking out for me".
But City continued to threaten, and Sane nearly made it five with a vicious left-foot shot from the edge of the area that struck the bar just after the hour.
Sterling bagged his second of the game on 67 minutes to cap a fine individual display from the England attacker.
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