James Milner knows discipline will be vital for England in San Marino and Montenegro
James Milner says England will need to keep their discipline in both San Marino and Montenegro this week.
The Three Lions are on the road for both World Cup qualifiers and are likely face a defensive San Marino on Friday and then an intimidating welcome to Montenegro next Tuesday.
The Manchester City midfielder missed England’s last game with Montenegro in October 2011, when it ended 2-2.
And that game saw Three Lions striker Wayne Rooney sent off in the red-hot atmosphere of the City Stadium in Podgorica.
So Milner knows that England will need to keep their heads against the Group H leaders.
He said: “The atmosphere out there was really hostile but these are the sort of games you want to play in.
“The crowd will be close to the field, whistling at every decision that’s made, it can affect the referee to maybe lean towards their side.
“That’s a natural thing to happen so we need to make sure that we keep our discipline, concentrate on the game and not get involved in anything off the ball.
“These teams are clever and will try to use the atmosphere to get any advantage they can.
“They’re playing England so we need to make sure we just concentrate on the football.”
San Marino will pose a different problem, with England likely to face a defensive barrier of eleven men.
And Milner insists it is down to England to make their own openings on Friday.
He added: “San Marino will defend for their lives and even if we get a goal, they’re not going to come out and try to equalise or force the issue, they’ll stay behind the ball.
“So it’s important we keep moving the ball and use the full width of the pitch and make sure your options are open.
“As long as we defend well, with the creative players in the squad, hopefully we can get a goal and score a few, put in a good performance and then take that into the Montenegro game on Tuesday.
“We want to win first and foremost, but if we can win by a few goals and put in a good performance we can take that confidence into the Montenegro game.”