Milner seeks middle chance
James Milner hopes his move to Manchester City allows him to flourish in a central midfield role.
Last Updated: 20/08/10 3:18pm
James Milner hopes his big-money move to Manchester City allows him to flourish in a central midfield role at the club.
Milner finally completed a protracted £24million switch to Eastlands this week from Aston Villa, with Stephen Ireland heading in the opposite direction, as Roberto Mancini attempts to build a team capable of winning silverware.
Mancini has a plethora of engine room options already and sported a three-strong team of holding midfielders for their opening day draw at Spurs.
But Milner wants to displace the likes of Gareth Barry, Nigel De Jong, Yaya Toure and Patrick Vieira in an attempt to prove to England boss Fabio Capello the middle of the park is where he can get the best out of him.
Milner, who started life at Villa Park as a wide player before moving infield, said: "I enjoy it in the middle. That's probably my best position.
"I've shown my best football there over the last 18 months. I've been at my most creative and I've scored goals there.
"I've enjoyed it immensely in the middle and I think that's where he's signed me to play.
"But if he asks me to play anywhere else, I'll do whatever is best for the team. As long as the team is winning, that's all that matters.
"If you are playing week in, week out with good players, you are putting yourself in the window for the England team."
Loved every second
Milner's eventual move from the Midlands ended a two-year association with Villa, where he developed into one of the Premier League's finest talents under former boss Martin O'Neill.
But once City confirmed their interest, a deal was almost inevitable as Villa eventually held out for a £24m fee.
And the 24-year-old hopes the Villa Park faithful hold no grudges against him deciding to move. He added: "I loved every single second at Villa.
"It was a great club to play for from the moment I signed to the moment I left.
"When I left the training ground the other day, it was exciting to be coming to City, but it was very sad leaving. I have close friends at the club.
"Hopefully the fans know that every time I stepped out on the pitch I gave 100 per cent for them."