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James Milner: Liverpool can perform under pressure

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James Milner insists Liverpool have the ability to perform under pressure following their slow start to the 2015/16 season.

The Reds gained a hard-earned 3-2 victory against Aston Villa on Saturday at Anfield and the win was Liverpool's first in five league matches.

Brendan Rodgers' men also required penalties to see off League Two side Carlisle United in the third round of the Capital One Cup last week, and began their Europa League campaign with a disappointing 1-1 draw away against Bordeaux. 

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The Merseyside outfit have an important week ahead of them; they first host FC Sion in the Europa League on Thursday before travelling to city rivals Everton four days later.

Milner has the most decorated curriculum vitae in Rodgers' squad having made 400 Premier League appearances and won the title twice with Manchester City.

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And the England international is confident that Liverpool can build on their victory against Villa and continue to react positively.

“That’s what comes with playing for a big club,” the former Leeds United man told Liverpoolfc.com.

“There’s always going to be that spotlight and pressure.

“When things aren’t going well, it’s going to come down on you; equally, when things are going well, people can get carried away. It’s important that we keep that level mindset and concentrate on our business.

“I’ve been fortunate to play for big clubs throughout my career and that’s the pressure you get playing in the Premier League and at the top level.

"Everyone wants to play for big clubs and have that pressure.It’s when things aren’t going well that you see who wants it the most and who wants to stand up and be counted.

“We’ve got some big personalities and big players who want to stick together and put in performances. It was a big performance at the weekend – that’s a start for us and we need to move on from there.”

Improvement

Saturday's result against Tim Sherwood's men was a much better effort from Liverpool and Rodgers will be hoping for further progress against Sion.

In recent league losses against West Ham United and Manchester United, and the 1-1 stalemate against Norwich City, the Reds looked short of energy in the middle of the park and somebody who could grab the game by the scruff of the neck.

Many expected Milner to take this role over from Steven Gerrard, who left the club in May, given the wealth of experience he has to his name and that his best position is in the middle of the park.

Milner was handed the vice-captaincy of the club just weeks after moving to Liverpool and has had skippers armband on his sleeve on numerous occasions this season in the absence of injured club captain Jordan Henderson.

The 29-year-old was surprisingly disappointing in games against West Ham, Manchester United, Bordeaux and Norwich, and many were not satisfied with his overall contribution.

There was no denying that his work-rate was spot on as per usual; however, supporters wanted to see him significantly contributing more and justifying his £150,000-a-week wages.

Milner reacted to this criticism in the best possible way and struck just after a minute against Villa, with his left-footed effort beating Brad Guzan from the 18-yard line.

He was much better in general versus the Claret and Blues - and was more effective going forward.

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Topics:
Premier League
James Milner
Liverpool
Football

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