England squad is united says James Milner

James Milner insists there are no cliques in the England squad and that there is "good banter" between all the players.

Former England midfielder Paul Scholes had claimed there were divisions during his international career, which ran from 1997 to 2004, with players remaining with club-mates because of domestic rivalries.

But Manchester City midfielder Milner, currently preparing for Friday's vital Euro 2012 qualifier in Montenegro, is adamant the players brought together by head coach Fabio Capello are united.

Milner, 25, said: "There is always good banter amongst the lads, whether it's United-City lads or anyone really."

Discussing Scholes' remarks, Milner said: "I can't comment on his (Scholes') time in the squad but I've not seen it while I've been here. Since I've been here, the players have been very together.

"We've got a good bunch of lads, good banter around the dining table, everyone eats and leaves the table together, games of table tennis etc. Everyone mixes.

"It is a tight group and players playing together at different clubs and also through the various England youth teams helps that team spirit.

"There are no strangers. Everyone knows each other and that definitely helps.

"We are always fighting for the same thing every time we step out onto that field and that is the most important thing."

England need to avoid defeat against Montenegro to qualify for next summer's finals and Milner expects there to be gaps to be exploited which were not evident in the goalless draw between the teams at Wembley.

He said: "We've had some good performances and some poorer ones in the group but what it boils down to is that it is in our own hands going into the last game.

"That's all you can ask for really. They'll have to come out because they need to win the game which I think will help us as well.

"We saw them at Wembley, they are well organised, but we are confident we can get a good result.

"When teams come to Wembley they set up with a game plan to defend and there is a lot of respect there and it is sometimes quite difficult to break teams down.

"Maybe at home teams feel they can come out against us more and it can open up the space to play and enable us to use our quality a bit more."

City have five players in the squad and Milner is particularly impressed with the contribution of goalkeeper Joe Hart and midfielder Gareth Barry to England's cause.

Milner said: "Joe is a class 'keeper. You've seen it with Man City, I've seen it with the England Under-21s and now for the senior side.

"He distributes the ball very well, sets you on attack, and his shot-stopping is fantastic.

"He has played a lot of games over the last year or so and, the more games he plays, the better he will get.

"With Gareth, I played with him at Aston Villa and Man City and he is a top, top player and week in and week out you can rely on him.

"He wins the ball, is fantastic on the ball, has great composure.

"A lot of people don't realise the job he does in sides both for England and City until maybe he misses a game, if he ever misses one through injury which is rare.

"He has got a great engine and plays a lot of games as well and I don't think you realise what he gives to the team until he is not there."

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
video
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Southern charm: Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan in ‘Joe’
filmReview: Actor delivers astonishing performance in low budget drama
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Up my street: The residents of the elegant Moray Place in Edinburgh's Georgian New Town
tvBBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past
Extras
indybest
News
Albus Dumbledore, the headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry has been the teaching profession's favourite teacher
education
Sport
Luis Suarez looks towards the crowd during the 2-1 victory over England
sport
Life and Style
Cheesecake frozen yoghurt by Constance and Mathilde Lorenzi
food + drinkThink outside the cool box for this summer’s frozen treats
News
John Barrowman kisses his male “bride” at a mock Gretna Green during the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony
peopleBarrowman's opening ceremony message to Commonwealth countries where he would be sent to prison for being gay
Sport
Sir Bradley Wiggins removes his silver medal after the podium ceremony for the men’s 4,000m team pursuit in Glasgow yesterday
Commonwealth games Disappointment for Sir Bradley in team pursuit final as England are forced to settle for silver
Sport
Alistair Brownlee (right) celebrates with his gold medal after winning the men’s triathlon alongside brother Jonny (left), who got silver
England's Jodie Stimpson won the women’s triathlon in the morning
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.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform