James Milner: Why criticism united Liverpool

The Liverpool vice-captain discusses recent pressure on Merseyside outfit

James Milner says recent criticism of Liverpool has only served to unite Brendan Rodgers’s squad.

Liverpool edged to an unconvincing 3-2 victory over struggling Aston Villa at Anfield in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon to end a four-game winless run.

There is always pressure playing for this club and when things aren’t going well there are going to be a lot of things said.

James Milner

Rodgers was coming under increasing pressure in the lead up to the visit of Villa amid speculation linking Carlo Ancelotti and Jurgen Klopp with the Anfield position.

And Milner, who moved to Liverpool from Manchester City on a free transfer in the summer window, insisted the Reds have been ignoring all the speculation in the media.

“You have to stick together. That is the way football is now – social media and Sky Sports apps and everything like that,” Milner is quoted as saying by ITV.

“There is so much scrutiny but that comes with being a footballer now.

“It is important that we pay no intention to that whatsoever and focus on the work we do on the training ground which is ongoing.

“There is always pressure playing for this club and when things aren’t going well there are going to be a lot of things said.

“But it is important we stick together and stick to the people in the dressing room because they are the most important: the players, the staff.

“There are a lot of things get said and when things are going well stuff gets blown out of context and the same when things are bad.”

Milner broke the deadlock against Tim Sherwood’s side with his first goal for Liverpool before Daniel Sturridge netted a second-half brace.

Liverpool hoisted themselves up to seventh place following their close-fought win at Anfield.

MORE: Read the latest Liverpool player tweets

The Reds face derby rivals Everton at Goodison Park in their next Premier League game on Saturday.

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