Milner - England Will Learn Lessons

  • Last Updated: May 16 2012, 20:23 BST

James Milner hopes England learn the lessons of the 2010 World Cup as they aim for Euro 2012 glory under new head coach Roy Hodgson.

James Milner: High hopes

Utility player Milner was part of the squad which grossly underachieved in South Africa under Fabio Capello and was eliminated at the second-round stage by Germany.

It was a chastening experience for Capello and his squad but one Milner believes England need to put behind them for the challenges ahead in Poland and Ukraine.

Milner said: "It was my first World Cup and it was disappointing. Then it's the summer and it's such a long time before you get back into football.

"You can't even have a good training session to take your mind off things so it's frustrating.

"But 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.

"I think it's a good thing, that you think about those and try and improve and learn from what's happened in the past.

"Then hopefully at the next major tournament you get to, you can cut those mistakes out and improve."

Milner admits a good performance in the Euros will only partly make amends for two years ago.

He said: "Obviously if we do well this summer it helps but it's always a World Cup you have failed in so you can't do anything about it.

"You can't change it but it's put to bed so the only thing you can change is the future - and that's doing well in the summer."

Capello cited tiredness amongst the England players as a reason for their failure in South Africa but Milner is philosophical about such claims.

He said: "If you're doing well, then you don't feel that tired. When you're winning games everything seems easy and you don't feel the fatigue.

"Then you lose a game and you feel as tired as you've ever been. It's a mental thing. It's natural after playing so many games in a season.

"It's going to take it out of you when you're playing every three days and travelling. But every team and country in Europe is the same. They all play a lot of games."

Milner lost his place in the Manchester City side at the tail-end of the season when the battle for the Barclays Premier League title reached a thrilling finale.

But he has thrived on the competition and it is the same when he represents his country.

Milner said: "I wouldn't say it's daunting. It's been a pleasure to play with the good players we have at City and the amount of quality players is very healthy for the team and that's the most important thing.

"There is competition all over the field and you know you have to play well to get your chance and stay in the team and it's the same with England.

"The squad is changing all the time. I look at it now and I see a lot of faces I played under-21s football with and younger boys than me coming through and we still have that core of experienced players.

"It's exciting times. I think the squad is changing a lot and we are moving forward and improving and hopefully we are developing as a team."

Milner also believes being a versatile player helps him in his quest to be a part of England's plans.

He said: "I think going forward is my strongest attribute, helping to make things happen, but also using my energy to get round the field as well.

"I think it helps to be versatile in club and international football when you're up against different styles and you can change the formation before the game and during it.

"Having players in tournament football who can play in more than one position helps.

"You might not need to make substitutions because players can change positions and there are a few players in the squad who can do that."

Hodgson was more than happy for Ruddy to go ahead with his plans to marry ahead of the tournament.

"When he was told (of his call-up) he offered to postpone the wedding but I said not to do that," Hodgson said at a Wembley press conference.

"I think it's a bit dangerous to cancel weddings at the last moment.

"This is a football match, it's not the end of the world.

"I suggested we deal with the Belgium game with Joe Hart and Rob Green and we'll welcome him back on the plane when we go to Poland."

The England boss said the decision to bring in Ruddy came partly from the fact there are few goalkeepers qualified for the national team playing at a high level, and partly because of his fine form for Norwich.

"You understand we don't have so many English goalkeepers to choose from," Hodgson said.

"John's had an excellent season with Norwich. Norwich have had an excellent season, they've surprised everybody and taken the Premier League by storm.

"He's been a very important player in that team.

"When I was looking for someone to back up Joe Hart, who is the obvious number one, and Rob Green, who is the obvious number two, I turned to John Ruddy and hopefully he's happy with that one."

England squad for Euro 2012: Goalkeepers - Green (West Ham), Hart (Man City) Ruddy (Norwich).

Defenders - Baines (Everton), Cahill (Chelsea), Cole (Chelsea), Johnson (Liverpool), Jones (Man Utd), Lescott (Man City), Terry (Chelsea).

Midfielders - Barry (Man City), Downing (Liverpool), Gerrard (Liverpool), Lampard (Chelsea), Milner (Man City), Parker (Tottenham), Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal), Walcott (Arsenal), Young (Man Utd).

Forwards - Carroll (Liverpool), Rooney (Man Utd), Welbeck (Man Utd), Defoe (Tottenham).