Liverpool must remain hungry, says James Milner
Retaining the title will be more difficult than winning it, says midfielder
Bengaluru — Liverpool cannot afford to get carried away by their Premier League triumph and must remain hungry for success if they are to compete with nearest rivals Manchester City next season, says experienced midfielder James Milner.
Liverpool’s 30-year wait for their 19th English top-flight title ended on Thursday when two-times defending champions City lost to Chelsea, giving Jurgen Klopp’s side an unassailable 23-point lead with seven games left.
Milner, who won two Premier League titles with City before joining Liverpool in 2015, expects a strong response from Pep Guardiola’s team.
“You see how difficult it is for any team to defend the title,” Milner told the Times. “City managed it last season, but they tried twice before and failed. The two times I was there in seasons after winning titles we were never at the races ... That’s something I’ve learnt from.
“This Liverpool team has shown we can deal with disappointment. Can we now show that we can deal with success? Being as good next year as we’ve been this year won’t be enough. City will raise their game and so will other clubs.”
Milner said his side have the strength of character to cope with the pressure of being champions.
“We are now there to be shot at and we have to be big enough to deal with that. It’s not a team that would ever go into autopilot. I don’t think we have those sort of characters and attitude,” he added.
ity will give Liverpool a guard of honour when the teams meet at the Etihad Stadium on Thursday, Guardiola has said.
Liverpool’s first match since being confirmed as champions is at City’s stadium, and Guardiola said his players would pay tribute to Klopp’s title-winning side. “We are going to do the guard of honour, of course,” Guardiola said. “We will greet Liverpool, when they come to our house, in an incredible way. We are going to do it because they deserve it.”