James Milner: 'I don't need Mancini to tell me if I've had a bad game'

 

As his own severest critic, James Milner said he did not need Roberto Mancini to point out whether he had played badly. Footballers are notoriously thin-skinned creatures and many in the Etihad's home dressing room cannot have been expected to take their manager's very public criticism of them well.

Last week Mancini said that any of his players who did not accept responsibility for poor performances could leave the club. Milner is unlikely to be among them.

"Personally, I set higher standards than anyone and don't particularly need anyone to tell me when I've played badly or not had a good game," he said. "The manager has got his own style. If, in the past, he's been critical, that just inspires you more to prove him wrong."

Milner is 27 and has been playing top-flight football for 11 years and under as many managers. Mancini may stand out as one of the hardest to please.

"He's up there. He is very hands-on, he knows what he wants his players to do," he said. "The good things are expected, it's the bad things you get pulled up on."

When it comes to dealing with footballers, Mancini does not respect reputations. At Internazionale, he lost patience with Luis Figo and fell out with his boyhood hero, Roberto Bettega. Managers, especially leading managers, are several times harder than most sportsmen. Kieron Dyer once recalled how even the sainted Sir Bobby Robson could reduce him to tears.

"I didn't play too long for Bobby but he was fantastic with me," said Milner of the man who took him to Newcastle, "probably because I was such a young player at the time.

"Fabio Capello was pretty intense, he could really lose his top at times but there was a lot you could learn from him."

Such as? "It is hard to point out just one thing. But having played for so many managers, what I can say is that you tend to pick up one good thing from each of them."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee