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Hodgson tips Milner for key Ukraine role

England manager Roy Hodgson says he will call on midfielder James Milner to play a pivotal role in Tuesday’s FIFA World Cup qualifier in Ukraine.

With England, Ukraine and Montenegro separated by just one point at the top of Group H in the European qualification section, the stakes are high in Kiev.

Defeat could make life very difficult for England, who top the group after recording a 4-0 victory over Moldova at Wembley on Friday.

Manchester United striker Danny Welbeck scored a double in that win, but received a yellow card that will see him banned for the Ukraine fixture.

And Milner is likely to step in and play his role, with Hodgson singing the praises of the Manchester City man ahead of the fixture.

Hodgson said: “We know what James will do. He isn’t, and doesn’t pretend to be, as exciting as some of the wingers we sometimes use these days.

“After a long period of time where I’ve not seen many wingers in the country, I’m now seeing lots of them.

“But we are going to need experience in Kiev. Milner is not a winger, but the qualities he brings could be very useful.”

Milner – who came through the ranks at Leeds United – and played for Newcastle United and Aston Villa before crossing to City, has made 40 appearances for England.

Sat 7 September, 2013
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