Swansea (United Kingdom) (AFP) – James Milner ruled out a return to international football with England after scoring the winner that secured Liverpool a 2-1 victory in the Premier League at Swansea City on Saturday.
Milner announced his retirement from international football in August after holding talks with then England manager Sam Allardyce and he insisted that he would not be changing his mind at the Liberty Stadium.
“I think I made the decision at the time and it’s best for everyone,” Milner told reporters.
“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 (Southgate) 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.”
The 30-year-old, who played 60 times for his country, is clearly relishing life under Jurgen Klopp, who will celebrate a year as Liverpool manager this Saturday.
“I’ve probably worked under too many managers but he’s definitely one of the best managers that I have worked with,” Milner added about the German.
“His organisation, the sessions he does are different to anything else I’ve ever experienced and his passion can only be a good thing.
“He really is a top manager. He has proved that before and hopefully we can be very successful with him.”
Now Milner is already focusing on Manchester United’s visit to Anfield on Monday, October 17, when Klopp’s team will seek a fifth successive league win.
“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 still early stages but we know we can beat anyone on our day and 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.”