James Milner future: Manuel Pellegrini hopes Manchester City 'will find an arrangement' with midfielder

The England international scored a double in the FA Cup

Paul Hirst
Monday 05 January 2015 09:35
James Milner celebrates scoring his team's first goal
James Milner celebrates scoring his team's first goal

Manuel Pellegrini spoke of his desire to keep James Milner at the Etihad Stadium after watching the midfielder save Manchester City's blushes in their narrow FA Cup victory over Sheffield Wednesday.

Milner scored the second goal of his brace in injury time to send City through to the fourth round with a hard-fought 2-1 win over the Sky Bet Championship side on Sunday.

City have yet to convince Milner to sign a new deal beyond the summer - when his contract is due to expire - but Pellegrini remains hopeful the England international will stay at the club.

"(There is) no news. I hope we will find an arrangement," said the City boss when asked about negotiations with Milner, who turned 29 on Sunday.

"But I think that I have said already what I think about James Milner. He is very useful. He always plays with 100 per cent commitment and intensity.

"I am very happy for him and also as it his birthday."

City hammered Wednesday 7-0 in the Capital One Cup earlier this season, but on Sunday the Owls came close to recording what would have been the shock of the third round.

The last time Wednesday reached the FA Cup final, in 1993, their team contained some of the finest talent in the club's 148-year history.

The likes of Chris Waddle, John Sheridan and David Hirst stand head and shoulders above the current players in Wednesday folklore, but Stuart Gray's team far exceeded what was expected of them on Sunday.

Against a team assembled for £151.4million, Wednesday took the game to City early on and broke the deadlock in the 14th minute when Stevie May squared on the counter to 6ft 6in unit Atdhe Nuhiu, who slotted past Willy Caballero.

City dominated possession, but struggled to test Chris Kirkland until the introduction of Samir Nasri and the excellent David Silva swung the game in their favour.

Wednesday boss Gray hailed his team for their efforts.

"Last time we were here we got beat 7-0 so it was nice to go in at half-time 1-0 up, I think we thoroughly deserved it," said Gray, whose team sit 10th in the Championship.

"We had a game plan to hit them on the break, we frustrated them.

"The goal that we got was a great finish.

"In the end they have shown us total respect as they put on Silva and Nasri and (Gael) Clichy. It was just tired minds that caught us out."

Pellegrini, meanwhile, revealed that Joe Hart will return in goal for City's Barclays Premier League game against Everton on Saturday after being rested for the last two matches.

"Against Everton Joe will return because he is playing very well," the Chilean said. "Joe knows what I think about his performance."


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