James Milner previews the Carling Cup second leg semi final between Manchester City and Liverpool - Manchester City FC

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Season 2011/12

Milner confident of Wembley final

  • 24 January 2012 14:09
  • Posted by David Clayton

James Milner believes City will overturn the 1-0 first leg deficit against Liverpool at Anfield on Wednesday.

The in-form England midfielder says the fillip the Blues received after the last-gasp victory over Tottenham could prove the perfect springboard for the Carling Cup second leg and the remainder of the Premier League campaign.

“We will be going there to get the result we need to take us to Wembley,” he said.

“The Carling Cup is a major honour, make no mistake about it. People talk about it being a lesser trophy for some reason, but it is big and in truth any trophy is important.

We know Liverpool are very strong at Anfield and they are a very strong team, too, but we have confidence that we can win anywhere

...James Milner

Milner also revealed a silver lining to exiting the FA Cup at the first hurdle this season. The Blues’Manchester derby defeat was a blow, but he believes the City squad will turn it to their advantage.

“It was a big disappointment not being able to defend our trophy but if there is a plus side to being out of the FA Cup, it is that we have a free weekend coming up,” he said.

“That means we can freshen up the legs a bit more after playing every three days or so like we have been.

“It is all about keeping the momentum going. We are coming to the end January and we are still going well. It shows the strength in depth we have and the quality in the squad also. We’ve had injuries and suspensions to contend with and have players at the Africa Cup of Nations as well.

“Yet we are still managing to win games. The competition for places is fierce, which is what you need to be successful.”

Ever modest, Milner is reluctant to talk about the excellent season he is having so far, putting it down to a collective effort rather than seeking individual accolades.

Milner Vid pic2

He said: “Maybe the position I am in is slightly different at the moment. I am playing a bit deeper than I’m used to. I have been a bit more disciplined positionally, trying to hold the midfield with Gareth.

“We are allowing the full-backs to bomb on, really. It is a bit different, but it is whatever is best for the team. That is the main thing. That’s what comes first.

“As long as Manchester City are winning and we are sending the fans home happy, that’s all we want. It’s a good feeling to give them something to shout about and we’ll be hoping to do the same again at Liverpool.”

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