'A different style'
By Nicholas Veevers in Manchester
Thursday, 24 May, 2012
James Milner reflects on first few days under new Manager.
England’s James Milner says the squad are ready and raring to go ahead of EURO 2012 in Poland and Ukraine.
The squad have been together this week in Manchester as preparations for the tournament began and with the first game under new Manager Roy Hodgson taking place in Norway on Saturday evening, Milner revealed the spirit in the camp is good.
With a number of his Manchester City team-mates and also Chelsea players in the squad on the back of their respective Premier League and Champions League success this season, he feels the confidence gained from those titles can only help the squad as a whole going into the tournament.
"Our players will be going to the tournament on a high and full of confidence and that's what you want,” he said.
"Winning is a habit and you want to get into the habit of winning trophies and getting that winning mentality.
"Both ourselves and Chelsea have had a good season, winning the Premier League and the Champions League and if players have had that taste and had a good season, even for the players at clubs who maybe haven't won anything but had good seasons, it's only a good thing for us as a team going out there to Poland."
This week has also given Milner and many of his squad-mates their first experience of working under Hodgson, and whilst quick to acknowledge the differences between him and predecessor Fabio Capello, he also revealed how things have changed.
“He really wants to get across how he wants us to set up and play,” he explained.
“We’ve had a couple of sessions, they’ve been tough and he’s really got across how he wants us to line-up and play, both when we’ve got the ball and when we haven’t got the ball.
“All Managers have their own styles and he has gone around the lads and spoken to them on what he expects from them, positionally, which is important and how defensively he wants to move the ball around.
“As individuals, he has pulled us aside and had those conversations and what he sees for us.
“Every Manager has a different style, I enjoyed working under Fabio and you have to try and learn and get what can out of them as a team and also as an individual in your development as a player and Roy Hodgson has had experience all over Europe and has managed international teams as well.
"Although there are couple of members of the squad who aren't here, I think we've had a good couple of sessions and the lads are pretty clear on how we're going to set up and how he wants to play.
"The lads are feeling ready to go and I think we're getting the best of the weather here - that's why we've come to Manchester! That prepares us for being out there as well so I think the lads are happy."
Milner himself is something of a tournament veteran, even at the relatively young age of 26, having competed in a World Cup and numerous European Finals with the Under-21s and below that in the England Development teams so he knows what to expect when the squad get out to their base at Krakow and the games begin.
“It’ll be good to work over the next few weeks, to prepare for the tournament and to get those two friendlies under our belt as a team and then come together for the Euros,” he added.
“A lot the lads have had a long season and played a lot of games, we’ve had a week off to recharge the batteries and now we’ve had a few training sessions and we’ve got the chance on Saturday to put it into action with this first game.
“It’s international football and a major tournament, so we are going to be together for a couple of weeks, training every day and it will help us prepare for the tournament.
“Going into every tournament, there’s an expectation and people will say this and that, but we just stick together as a group and we’ll let the people do the talking and we’ll just get on with our jobs.”