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Wednesday 17 October 2018

Milner enjoying Liverpool life again after poor start

Liverpool v Maribor, Live Eir Sp 2/BT ESPN, KO 7.45

Liverpool’s James Milner
Liverpool’s James Milner

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.

Regular football has put a smile back on his face and Milner hopes it stays that way.

"Last season I was asked to do a job and I did that as well as I could. I said I didn't enjoy playing there but the team comes first," he said.

"I've definitely found myself enjoying my football again playing in midfield.

"I played there (midfield) in training but there is nothing like playing in games.

"At the start of the season the manager pulled me in and said he was looking at me in midfield, which I was obviously delighted with.

"(It has been) very frustrating. Every player wants to play football and that is what I want to do.

"The manger 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. I've played the last three games. We have so many games but as an individual you just want to get that chance to perform.

"As a player, you just want that chance to be able to show it."

Liverpool 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 "devastating".

"We have shown glimpses but we've had injuries and I think we are waiting for it to click," the midfielder added. When we showed it in Maribor it was pretty devastating. We have to be on top of our game, set the tempo and come out all guns blazing."

Klopp will not field a weakened side against the visitors just because of the result in Slovenia.

"I can imagine what people think after results like this and after 7-0 a lot of people wouldn't respect Maribor," he said. "The result was not one per cent of our analysis. Our aim is to go through this group stage."

Meanwhile, Dejan Lovren has branded death threats made against his family as "disgusting".

The Liverpool and Croatia defender shared the threat on his Instagram story.

Lovren posted a direct message he had received from a user which read "I'm gonna murder ur family u Croatian p****".

The 28-year-old captioned it with "horrible what kind of people we have." He added: "I cannot ignore when my family is threatened. I just can't and won't accept that. Disgusting."