Milner out to lift curse
James Milner is hoping to help Aston Villa break their March hoodoo and remain in the top-four hunt.
By Chris Burton
Last Updated: 05/03/10 5:33pm
James Milner is hoping to help Aston Villa break their March hoodoo and remain in the hunt for a top-four finish.
The England international is also keen to see Villa take another positive step en route to a second cup final, with the FA Cup offering an ideal opportunity to make amends for the Carling Cup heartache suffered against Manchester United.
Villa must, however, break a freak curse if they are to prevail in their efforts to return to Wembley and secure UEFA Champions League qualification.
Remarkably, the club have failed to win a single fixture in March since 2006, with the incredible run stretching back 16 games.
Milner has only been around for a handful of those matches, and admits he was unaware of the record, but he is adamant that Villa can break that alarming habit this term.
He told the Birmingham Mail: "I wasn't really aware of this March thing. It's down to us to put that right. I don't know what's gone on in previous years and I can only really comment on last year.
"I don't know whether it's psychological or physical or what. Maybe it was fatigue last year, who knows?
"If you finish the season disappointingly like we did, the important thing is to learn from it so it doesn't happen again.
"We've played well recently. I don't know how many it is unbeaten in the league (six), but we're on a good run and it's down to us to keep that going."
Milner admits March will be a 'massive month' for Villa this year, with a favourable run of fixtures seeing them face Reading in the FA Cup and Wigan, Wolves and Chelsea in the league.
"It's a massive month," he added.
"We've got a fairly good run-in, but every game in the Premier League is tough.
"We've been playing well so that's the main thing. It's down to us to keep the form going and take it a game at a time.
"First things first, we'll see if we can get through in the FA Cup, which again will be tough because Reading have been playing so well.
"We've got a lot of quality in the squad, we've got fresh legs ready to come in and competition for places as well. There's players knocking on the door and you've got to perform well to stay in the team."