Milner: Brazil win boosted belief
James Milner insists England are bubbling with confidence and belief after last month's win over Brazil as he hailed the strides forward made during Roy Hodgson's 10-month reign.
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7. James Milner
The Manchester City midfielder feels the 2-1 success at Wembley set down a marker as to the progress England have made since Euro 2012 and gives them genuine hope should they qualify for the 2014 World Cup.
Milner felt it was the latest indication of how England are developing under Hodgson ahead of the World Cup qualifiers with San Marino and Montenegro.
He said: "Every time you play Brazil, you are playing one of the best sides in the world. To get a win like that at Wembley gives you a lot of confidence.
"It was a good performance as well and we can take a lot of confidence from it, even though it was a friendly.
"We know that if, hopefully, we do qualify, and come up against those teams again, we are well-equipped. We know we can get a win against them."
Milner believes Hodgson is starting to put his ideas across to telling effect after succeeding Fabio Capello last May.
He can see improvements in aspects of their game such as ball retention which was lacking when beaten by Italy in the European Championship second-round clash last summer.
Milner said: "I think we are moving forward all the time and the performances are improving as well. That's a positive sign.
"The squad is changing all the time, there are younger players coming in, but we have still got the mix of the senior players as well.
"The squad is in a really good place at the moment. The longer we work with the manager, he is obviously going to get his ideas over as well and you will see improvements in the team.
"You can see that already since the Euros. We started from a strong base and maybe didn't quite retain the ball as well as we could have done and our forward play was not as good as it could be.
"But that's improving all the time."
Milner has confidence in City team-mate Joleon Lescott to fill the gap left in the England squad by Rio Ferdinand's withdrawal.
Lescott was one of England's most successful performers in Ukraine and Poland but has only had limited opportunities at City this season.
Milner said: "Joleon hasn't played loads of games for City this year but when he has done, he has played well.
"He had a great season last year, a great Euro 2012 and he will be full of confidence and ready to go.
"I don't think we will be affected by the withdrawals (of Ferdinand, Gary Cahill and Michael Dawson).
"Joleon has now come in, has played a lot of games for England and is a top player as well."