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Milner confident of England spot
Published : 06 Oct 2011 06:24:00
James Milner says the competition for places at Manchester City - and no guarantees of a regular spot - will not hinder his England chances. Milner has already clocked up almost 300 games by the age of 25 in a career which has taken in stints at Leeds, Newcastle and Aston Villa. His spell at City is the first where he is not one of the first names on the team sheet, but Milner accepts that as inevitable with the quality of the squad and the challenge for honours on several fronts. Milner, currently preparing for England's Euro 2012 qualifier in Montenegro on Friday, said: "I wouldn't say the competition is daunting. "It's a pleasure to play with the good players we have at the club and the amount of players we have at the club is very healthy for the team and that's the most important thing and comes first. "There is competition all over the field and you know you have to play well to get your chance and stay in the team. "But I think if you look at the fixture list, and how many games we have this season, then everyone is going to play more than enough games. "To challenge on all fronts is what we want to do and to do that you have to use a squad and there has to be competition and a healthy competition for places, which we have. "You are going to get injuries, you are going to get suspensions and things like that. It's important that we have a squad as big and as good as we do." Asked if fewer opportunities would affect his England hopes, Milner said: "I wouldn't have thought so. "I've had an injury over the last few weeks so that's why I haven't played. I played 90 minutes on Saturday (against Blackburn) and obviously it's down to the manager (if chosen). "All you can do is try to do as well as you can in the next few days." Milner, who was not allowed to comment on Carlos Tevez's situation at City, admits he is a bad loser and takes time to get over any setbacks for club or country. But he believes it is important to learn from and remember the low points. He said: "When you come away on international duty, if you get a bad result the last game before you go away you can't do anything about it for 10 days and it's lingering on your mind. "It was worse after we drew with Switzerland in June and it's with you for the summer. You can't even have a good training session then to take your mind of it so it's frustrating. "In my career, the World Cup last summer was disappointing and beyond that Leeds United's relegation was the biggest disappointment. Being a Leeds lad and young at the time, that was a big disappointment. "That's football and people always say it's the bad results and the disappointing things that happen in your career that you remember more than times when you are successful. "But I think it's a good thing that you think about those situations and try and improve and learn on what's happened in the past." Milner is adamant England will not try and play for the point they need in Montenegro to qualify for the 2012 finals in Poland and Ukraine. He said: "At the start of qualifying the main target was to win the group and we're in a position to do that. We need a point and we just need to finish the job now. "We go out to win every game we play. Only needing a draw is something nice to be able to fall back on but we're going to win. "We saw at Wembley they will be tough opposition but we had a couple of good results in our last couple of games and are looking to continue that. "It's about grit and determination but you also want your quality to shine through as well. We want to get on the ball and play as well as we know we can."