Sunday, November 15, 2015

James Milner: Take Lessons from Klopp

Tweet Football - James Milner might be classed as one of the more experienced members of Liverpool’s first-team squad

The 29-year-old had started all of the manager’s six opening games in the charge of the Reds wearing the captain’s armband in the absence of the injured Jordan Henderson, until a hamstring problem ruled him out of last Sunday’s clash with Crystal Palace.

Milner is optimistic on his chances of recovering from the niggle in time to face Manchester City next week, and has explained why there is still plenty he can take from Klopp’s methods and implement into his game.

“You can always learn whether you are 16 or 17, or whether you are 35 or 29,” he told

“That’s football and the manager will still be learning himself. Obviously he has come in with his new ideas, new training methods and things like that, so it’s great for me as much as it is the younger guys.

“Hopefully I can help those younger guys, but I’m still learning myself. Changing managers is always different and I’m still learning the way he wants to play.

“I’ve been fortunate to work under some great managers and he [Klopp] is another one of the top managers in the game. I can learn as much as I can and hopefully put that back into my game, as a team [member] and as an individual and improve.”

It’s not just the physical aspects of Liverpool’s game Klopp is looking to imprint his philosophies on – the German has also been eager to work on mentality and reacting to setbacks.

Last Sunday saw Liverpool lose for the first time in his tenure as an 82nd minute header from Scott Dann secured a 2-1 victory for Palace at Anfield.

Afterwards, Klopp spoke of the need for his side to not give up the fight until the very last whistle – sentiments Milner wholeheartedly concurs with.

“I think there have been times where we’ve got down on ourselves when the result hasn’t been going our way towards the end of the game, but we have to realise it can take 94 minutes to break a team down and keep going no matter what the score and no matter how we are playing,” he said.

“We could have had the worst game ever but if you are still in the game in the last minute and if you keep pushing forward, you can get a goal and I think that comes from belief.

“Maybe times this season where we maybe have played well and had a number of shots - a silly amount of shots - and we haven’t got the goal that we needed to get the three points and get the  win.

“But we have to make sure that we don’t let that hamper our attitude and our belief going into future games. Every game is different and no matter how the game is going, if you are still in it coming into the last minute you need to keep pushing and go for that goal.”

Instilling that inherent belief within the squad, Milner feels, could go a long way to achieving success this season.

He continued: “I think we’ve said it all season everything is there for us with the squad we have and we’ve got obviously new coaches, new staff and manager.

“They are experienced and what they have done before is there for everyone to see. They’ve obviously been very successful and are looking to bring that here.

“This is an amazing club, we’ve got the fan base and the ground – everything is there for us to do well and I think it’s just down to everyone to just believe we can do well.

“We were on a good run before last weekend, so it’s important we get back on that and take belief from the results we’ve had.

“Not too many teams can play like we did against Chelsea and go there and thoroughly deserve a win, so we know we can do it. It’s about doing it more consistently and pushing on.”

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