James Milner Q&A: Liverpool self-belief, Manchester City... and playing left-back
Last Updated: 19/03/17 4:13pm
James Milner sat down with Jamie Redknapp to discuss playing at left-back, why Liverpool need to have more self-belief, and lessons they have learnt from this season.
The Reds will be looking to cement their place in the top four of the Premier League when they travel to Manchester City on Nissan Super Sunday.
Ahead of the game, Milner discussed his position in the team and why Liverpool can beat anyone on their day...
It was a big result against Burnley and now you have Man City, who you have beaten the last four times in the league. You seem to enjoy playing against the bigger teams?
We have got a good record against the top sides this year and have put in some good performances. It's been up and down at times and we haven't quite had the consistency against the so-called lesser teams, but that's why the win against Burnley was so pleasing.
They are such a tough team to play against, as we found out earlier in the season, so to grind out a result when we haven't played well was pleasing and hopefully the team take confidence from that.
What do you put the 'transformation' down to when you play the teams around the top of the table?
Against the top teams when they have more possession it's maybe easier to get the tempo on our side and get the pressure on the front foot. Burnley are a bit more direct and it's harder to get into the rhythm of the game.
It's tough for us and we have to learn how to adapt to those games. If we don't start well we have to find a way to win the game. It might not always be the way we want to play but it's about getting those three points ultimately.
I don't think you can ever question the mentality in the dressing room. The attitude is fantastic.
I don't think you can ever question the mentality in the dressing room. The attitude is fantastic, sometimes we might be a victim of trying to do too much. If the manager says something maybe we go far trying to do the right thing.
We have got a great record against top teams and hopefully we can keep it going.
What's Jurgen Klopp like to play for?
He's exciting to play for. We work hard in training, we know how he wants to play and he can see us improving the longer we are together.
We were flying at the start of the season, had a tough spell coming out of Christmas, and that's what we have to learn from.
It's a big belief thing in the dressing room, sometimes we don't realise how good we are. We have to keep going. That comes from the manager, his enthusiasm is great to have on the side of the pitch when you feel that energy and need that injection.
Which teams have given you the most problems?
I don't think we look at that side, we have to concentrate on ourselves. We have shown we can beat anyone on our day, but it's about consistency and finishing the season strongly.
You've been playing at left-back this season, do you like playing there?
Honestly, no. I don't. It's what the manager wants and is best for the team. If he thinks that's best I'll do it, to be successful as a team you need 11 players and also 25 in a squad. It's about doing what's best for the team whether you like it or not.
I will play where I am asked. I feel like I have better positions. I played in the midfield last year and created quite a lot of goals, but wherever the team needs me I'll play.
You have played in a lot of good teams, like Manchester City when you won the league. Is this Liverpool team as exciting?
It's definitely up there. I have been very fortunate to play in a lot of good teams and with a lot of good players.
The Man City team was a top side and maybe had a couple more standout individual players, but we have a lot of good players and as a team we play a different style. Everybody works together and you need to do that with the way we play. They are two completely different styles of play but two top-class teams.
How do you stop Man City? Will Jurgen Klopp work on ideas to stop them playing?
We always work on the strengths and weaknesses of the opposition. They have a lot of top players.
David [Silva] is incredible, Raheem [Sterling] has done really well, Sergio [Aguero] is so sharp around the box, so they have a lot of tough players to stop but we have a good record against them.
We will set up how the manager wants, work on it in training and hopefully exploit their weaknesses.
Watch Manchester City v Liverpool live on Sky Sports 1 HD from 4pm on Sunday.