James Milner expects Manchester City to shake off their surprise 4-1 home defeat to Liverpool, dismissing the result as a blip.
The England midfielder – who joined the Anfield club this off-season – returned to help torment his former employers, inflicting City’s worst result since their move to the Etihad Stadium.
The crushing reverse saw City drop from the Premier League summit down to third but Milner believes the loss will motivate the team to pick up their form.
“They’re a team of top-class players and that will hurt them,” he said.
“I spoke to one or two of them and they were disappointed. They were complimentary about how we played but they know they can play a lot better than that.
“They’ve a lot of big games coming up as well. I’m sure they’ll bounce back.
“Hopefully we can keep riding the wave and take the confidence we’ve got from today and kick on, and hopefully they’ll bounce back as well – I’ve a lot of good friends there and want them to see do well when they’re not playing against us.”
Milner brought his five-year stay with City to an end in August, signing for Liverpool on free transfer in a desire for more game time and promises he would be played in central midfield.
Had the deal not have gone through, the 29-year-old claims he would have been willing to remain at the club.
“I think I was very fortunate to be in a position where if I stayed at Manchester City or went to Liverpool I was going to be happy and in a good place and I think that’s turned out to be the way,” Milner said.
“It’s obviously a brand new challenge for me and a completely different role to what I had at City but I had an amazing time at City, played with a lot of good players, won some trophies and I think if I’d stayed at City I’d be enjoying it as well.
“But it was a decision I made, it was time for a change and I’m enjoying this new challenge.”