Milner relishing under-21 challenge

27 May 2009 02:59
James Milner has shrugged off fears of suffering from footballing burn-out and believes a successful European Under-21 Championship campaign can only stand him in good stead if he breaks into the full England squad. The Aston Villa player may have only a week's break should Stuart Pearce's side reach the final in Sweden on June 29 before Martin O'Neill's team report back for pre-season training. O'Neill had voiced concerns towards the end of the current campaign but Milner said: "Do I fear burn-out? I'm sure the manager will look after us. You need a rest. I've got six days before we join up with England. Then, if we reach the final, I've got another week." He added: "But it's an honour to play for your country and it's great to be going out there to Sweden to play with the best young players in Europe. "Getting that experience is priceless. If you look at teams winning the World Cup and European Championships, so many of the squad have played in the Under-21s tournaments. "It's getting that experience and winning mentality that helps. If we can win with the Under-21s, it stands us in good stead in the future as England players. "Hopefully there will be a chunk of players who have been to a major international tournament and won it and that's massive. If you can then take that into senior tournaments, then you have better chance of winning those." Milner is confident Villa will learn from their experiences of the past season when a late fade-out denied them a chance of a Champions League spot. He said: "It is about how you learn from these runs. We know we should have done better but it is about what you take from such poor runs and how you bounce back. "Hopefully if we are in the same position next year, with 10-12 games to go, hopefully we can see it through and go one or two places better."

Source: Eurosport