Date: 27th February 2007 at 9:26am
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Shipped away on loan last season by that terrific judge of player Mr Souness, the boy Milner has had a cracking season since he returned, firing in a number of goal of the season contenders and generally showing a spot on attitude / work ethic. Despite being dropped to the bench for the Wigan debacle last weekend, he remains on course to break the 60 game barrier and be our player with the most appearances to his name for 2006/2007. Speaking to the Journal he talked about his role so far and his hopes for the rest of the season:

“I’m not feeling tired and have never for one moment considered asking the gaffer for a rest. You train every day and work hard. I’ve had a bit of a niggle since January but that’s the only problem. It’s a sore ankle and I just have to get through that but I’m fit enough and will keep going. There’s no chance of me slackening or not giving everything. I’d love to break 60 games for the season, no problem.

Football’s my profession and you want to play week in, week out. It’s mental more than anything because we are fit enough and conditioned to play twice a week. Obviously, it can be quite tough, some games you will feel more tired than others. If you are working hard, some of the heavy pitches will affect your legs but as I say, it’s our profession and we will just get on with it. Steven Gerrard played around 60 games last year and, if we go all the way in Europe, I’ll get pretty close to that if you throw in my Under-21 appearances.

I certainly couldn’t have envisaged that at the start of the season. But I just want to play football and thankfully I’ve been given that opportunity here. I just want to prove myself and prove I should be in this team week in, week out. This club has had to come through the hard way in Europe, the Intertoto Cup, but this club needs to be in Europe and now we have to prove what a big club it is by hopefully winning some silverware.

We know Alkmaar are a quality team just like the others who remain in the competition. You look down the list and they are all good teams. We’d have preferred to be at home second in the next round but hopefully we can get a good solid first leg result and keep a clean sheet over there.’