Swansea vs Liverpool: James Milner not thinking about England return after Liberty Stadium heroics

Milner retired from international football over the summer and has re-affirmed his position

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The Independent Football

James Milner might have well have been buoyed by scoring the goal that sent Liverpool to second place in the Premier League but he was still not in the mood for a change of heart over England.

Milner retired from international football over the summer and the 30-year-old re-affirmed his position after scoring his fourth penalty of the season to secure three points for Liverpool against Swansea at the Liberty Stadium.

The 30-year-old, who has played 60 times for his country, quit England following talks with Sam Allardyce during his tenure as national manager and has no plans to have a re-think now Gareth Southgate is at the helm.

“I think I made the decision at the time and it’s best for everyone,” Milner said. “I’m playing left-back at the moment and there are a number of very good left-backs who would be ahead of me, I’m sure. 

“I think it’s still the right decision. It’s obviously disappointing what’s happened and massively disappointing for Sam because I think he was doing a very good job. 

“But Gareth has done a great job with the Under-21s and I'm sure he will step in and the players will have a lot of respect for him and hopefully qualify.”

Milner’s stance means that he is already looking forward to Liverpool’s next game, against arch-rivals Manchester United at Anfield on Monday, October 17, when his team will aim for their fifth consecutive Premier League victory.

“We’ve got a big game when we come back and hopefully everyone will return from international duty fully fit, Milner added.

“The Swansea game was massive because we’re going into the international break having put a run together. 

“Signing off with a draw or defeat would have been disappointing because it would have halted that momentum. 

“There’s a long way to go and it’s early stages but we know we can beat anyone on our day. We have got to keep that going. 

“We can only get better. It is a relatively young squad. I'm only 30 and I’m pretty much one of the oldest which is disappointing for me but pleasing when you look at how youthful our squad is and the room for improvement.”

Milner is clearly enjoying life under Jurgen Klopp who will celebrate a year in the Liverpool manager’s office this Saturday.

“I’ve probably had too many managers and they all have their own strengths and weaknesses but he’s definitely one of the best that I have worked with,” Milner added.

“His organisation, the sessions he does, are different to anything else that I have ever experienced, his passion. He is a top manager. He has proved that before and hopefully we can be very successful with him.”

Firmino celebrates his strike at Swansea (Getty Images)

The result intensified speculation over the future of Swansea manager Francesco Guidolin but goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski insisted the uncertainty had nothing to do with a defeat that deepens his club’s relegation fears.

“I can only respond for myself but I don’t really pay attention to the speculation, I just focus on the job trying to do my best for the club,” Fabianski said.

“We played well which is why it is a tough time for us. I don’t know what the problem is because the lads are trying their best. 

“We’ve been playing against really good teams recently and we have competed well. Hopefully, if we stay positive continue to work hard we will turn things around and then be back in a good position.”