Football

O'Neill backs Milner for England

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Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill believes the versatility of James Milner can help clinch him a spot in Fabio Capello's World Cup squad.

Milner has played as a second striker, right and left midfield and right-back for Villa at various times since his £12million move from Newcastle 14 months ago. Last Wednesday Capello even used the 23-year-old at left-back for the final 15 minutes of England's win over Belarus in a World Cup qualifier at Wembley as a replacement for Wayne Bridge.

And O'Neill believes being able to fill in at various positions will hold Milner in good stead, and said: "The England manager has proved himself to be a winning manager for many years and decided to play James at left-back for the last 15 minutes against Belarus. Will that versatility get Milner into World Cup squad? I don't think it would do any player any harm."

He added: "James has played right-back for us so I think, between us and England, he just has the goalkeeping position to go to complete the entire set.

"James' preferred position is on the right hand side, either there or coming in-field, which is something I thought at the start of the season I would look at.

"It hasn't happened too often but I think, if you are one of those players who can cover a number of positions and do it very well, it is something the England manager would not overlook when it comes to picking the squad for South Africa."

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Topics:
Football
James Milner
Wayne Bridge
Premier League
Aston Villa

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