Ahead of Sunday’s pivotal game against Tottenham Hotspur James Milner spoke to Liverpoolfc.com and offered his sage insight on the big game and the final furlong of this season.
Probably sipping a Ribena, when quizzed on his role as imparter of wisdom the veteran midfielder admitted, “Hopefully, that’s my job. Unfortunately I’m one of the older guys, if not the oldest guy, now and it’s important that you do that and help the guys out”.
The Spurs game represents the first of seven over a 26-day period. It’s a crucial run-in but the No. 7 remained calm: “I think we all know they’re all important but that’s pretty much what the season’s like when you’re playing for a top team and you’re challenging on different fronts.
“You’re going to have games every three days and again that goes back to needing the squad and everyone fit and raring to go,” he added.
“I think obviously the end’s getting closer now and every game is important, but we just have to go out there and keep doing what we’ve been doing for the rest of the season – performing well, trying to play the best football we can and remain solid.”
— James Milner (@JamesMilner) March 30, 2019
Although Millie has retired from international football, a lot of his teammates are coming into the Spurs game after starring for their national teams. We’ve missed the Reds playing at Anfield so a mouthwatering league game against Spurs is the perfect antidote.
For the Yorkshireman, “It’s always tough after the international break no matter who you’re playing, really. We know how important every game is and you’re getting three points whether you’re beating Spurs or whoever.
“To come back in and click straight away, that’s down to the work that we’ve done since we’ve been together, since the manager’s been in and the team spirit we have here to get the lads back up and running again.
“It is tricky, but it’s the same for all teams and Spurs have had a lot of players away as well. It’s not ideal, but being at Anfield obviously helps and having the fans behind us will help us get back on that front foot and start where we left off.”
With Jordan Henderson, Gini Wijnaldum, and Fabinho all putting in effective, but potentially wearying, performances for their countries over the break – and Naby Keïta out injured – it wouldn’t be a surprise if Milner finds himself occupying a starting berth in midfield against Spurs.
His typical nous, work-rate, and leadership will be invaluable against a Spurs side looking to cement their place in the top four. With our record at Anfield – especially against the North London side – we’ll be in for a tight, but hopefully victorious afternoon.