Belfast Telegraph

Liverpool's James Milner loving life back in centre-stage after a season at left-back

By Damien Spellman

Liverpool midfielder James Milner admits he is enjoying his football again after a frustrating start to the campaign.

The 31-year-old was a regular filling in at left-back last season but having been told by Jurgen Klopp in the summer he would revert to a midfield role, chances have been limited.

However, he has started the last three matches and is expected to make that four in a row against Maribor in the Champions League at Anfield tonight.

"Last season I was asked to do a job and did that as well as I could. I didn't enjoy playing there but the team comes first," he said. "I've found myself enjoying my football again in midfield.

"(It has been) very frustrating. Every player wants to play football and that is what I want to do. The manager picks the team and if it isn't happening you have to try to force your way in, and when you do get the chance you have to take it."

Pool destroyed Maribor 7-0 a fortnight ago and while neither Milner nor Klopp are expecting repeat performances, the former said when they got it right their play was "pretty devastating".

"We have shown glimpses but we've had injuries and we are waiting for it to click," he added. "When we showed it in Maribor it was pretty devastating."

Klopp will not field a weakened side. He said: "The result was not one per cent of our analysis. Our aim is to go through. Anfield should be a fortress so that means we have to win."

Klopp will make a late decision on the fitness of defender Dejan Lovren. The centre-back has had more issues to deal with, however, after receiving death threats on social media.

Lovren posted a message he received on Instagram which read: "I'm going to murder your family you Croatian p****".

The 28-year-old captioned it with "horrible what kind of people we have" before adding in a second image: "I don't mind when people talk s*** about me, it says more about them!

"But I cannot ignore when my family is threatened. I can't and won't accept that. Disgusting."

Liverpool are not commenting on the situation although it is understood the club takes the security and well-being of players and families seriously, and will offer Lovren all the support he requires, should he need it.

Belfast Telegraph


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