Mar 23, 2011

Milner - Squad behind JT

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 Milner: Backing Terry

The Manchester City midfielder was quizzed by the media on Wednesday, as they wanted to gauge the reaction within the squad of Terry being handed the armband back.

But Milner insists the squad have taken the news well and it has had little impact on the players.

"It is just business as usual, the manager has made the decision and everyone is happy with JT," Milner said on Sky Sports News.

"It is obviously disappointing for Rio [Ferdinand, former captain] but he is a top player, great person to have in the squad and we are fortunate to have a number of leaders in this squad, John Terry, Rio Ferdinand obviously isn't here, Steven Gerrard, Gareth Barry, Lamps [Frank Lampard] but we need more than one leader in the team anyway.

"We all just want to pull together and win football matches, that is the biggest thing."

Milner admits Terry is an inspirational leader, adding: "He has shown it week in, week out in the Premier League, he puts his head in where most wouldn't.

"He leads on the pitch but off the field too and it is important to have that link with the management too and we have a number of senior players who will say what they think and you need to have that as a unit."

On Ferdinand being replaced he continued: "That's football, things change very quickly, it is unfortunate for Rio and he is a great captain too.

"It is gutting for him but when he gets back in the squad he will be leading too - there are people here who will lead whether they have the armband or not."

Milner has missed only one game since the World Cup, which was due to suspension, but he insists his place is not cemented.

"We are fortunate to have a lot of great players, there is always competition which is a good thing, you will always do as well as you can and always do your best. But the important thing is to win and qualify."

He also insists that he will play wherever he is asked, after featuring all over midfield for England.

"I will play where I am asked, I think my best position is in the centre, I showed that last season with Aston Villa but wherever the manager things I can do a job then I will contribute."

Milner admits the squad are looking forward to facing Wales, and admits it is different to a usual international clash.

"It is slightly different to what we are used to, this will be more like a Premier League game as you don't normally get derbies in international football," he said.

"But it should be a good game but hopefully we can play our game and get the points.

"They are a dangerous team with good players, it is going to be a great atmosphere and will be a tough game for us, we have to match them for, effort, determination, work-rate and then hopefully get the ball down and play."

On a possible defeat to Wales he replied: "I don't think it would be a disgrace, they have got good players, but we are not thinking about that - we know if we play to our capabilities then we will win the game."

Milner was also asked about England's progress since the disappointment of last summer's World Cup finals and what, if anything, had changed as was promised by coach Fabio Capello.

"I think we have started the campaign quite well, getting the confidence back after the World Cup, but we will take it one game at a time.

"There are a lot of new faces in the squad from the World Cup, we are lucky to have the younger players coming through and you need that mix in any team and hopefully we can keep working hard.

"We are going into every game to win, it will be tough but that is what we are going there to do.

"Ultimately we are just trying to get better and better, we have had a pretty good start to the campaign.

"The most important thing is that we are all as one unit."

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