Milner: Youngsters Not World Weary

  • Last Updated: May 25 2012, 7:52 BST

James Milner believes England will reap the benefits at Euro 2012 of the current influx of young players not worn down by previous tournament failures.

James Milner: There's a different feel around the squad

Milner believes being unable to meet the expectations levels of the nation - and a succession of penalty shoot-out setbacks - can take its toll on even the most experienced professionals.

But the Manchester City midfielder is excited by the blend of youth and older heads chosen by new head coach Roy Hodgson for Poland and the Ukraine this summer.

Milner said: "I think there is a lot of a different feel around the squad now than before.

"I think maybe the squad had a lot of players in it who had been to a lot of major tournaments before and maybe had suffered the expectations and the disappointments.

"I think maybe it does wear you down. Now we have that mix of younger players who haven't gone through that time and time again.

"They haven't gone through the unlucky parts of tournament football you are going to get, the decisions that go against you, like the Frank Lampard 'goal' not given against Germany in the World Cup.

"It does wear down on you and they are going into it fresh and, if you like, don't have those negative thoughts or memories in their head going into the tournament."

Milner admitted: "The squad has changed massively since I've come into the squad. You see faces that maybe you played in the Under-21s with coming through.

"It's massively important you have the experienced players the Steven Gerrards, John Terrys, Gareth Barrys, Ashley Coles who have been there and played loads of football.

"But you've got the younger players who are going into it wide eyed and don't have that experience."

Milner has welcomed a 10-day break since the end of the domestic season which is in contrast to the England players joining up at an Austrian training camp before the World Cup two years ago.

He said: "They are two different approaches and you can see the pluses and minuses for both.

"But with the amount of games a lot of the lads have had this season, to give them five or six days' rest was a positive thing.

"Maybe I feel fresher this time. We kept going in Austria and didn't take our foot off the gas. If you keep going until you are knocked out, you don't have the chance to feel tired.

"On the other hand, the lads have had a bit of rest and a bit of sun and, when you go away to a tournament for a month, it is a long time to be away and maybe that can kick in.

"Maybe having the shorter spells - and we have two days after the Norway game to go home again - is a positive thing."

Milner went to Spain for a few days to wind down after City's dramatic last day of the season Barclays Premier League title success.

He said: "It was important to get over the finale to the season emotionally.

"You feel pretty drained with the emotions of what went on, going from the lowest to the high in three minutes against QPR.

"I don't drink, so I had a lot of coke and red bull after the game and was probably more bubbly than the rest of the lads!

"But it was great and I enjoyed the parade, seeing the fans and what it meant to them. It was great."