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Milner hoping to end cup final exile

Liverpool midfielder James Milner is targeting redemption in the Europa League decider after enduring several cup final exiles in his time at Manchester City.

While Milner won two out of three cup finals at City, the 30-year-old played in just one of them – a 1-0 loss to Wigan Athletic in the 2013 FA Cup decider. 

His record at other clubs is not much better, losing the 2009-10 League Cup final against Manchester United and the 2015-16 edition of the tournament against former club City. 

But now, as he prepares to captain Liverpool in Wednesday’s Europa League final against Sevilla, Milner will need to put those bad experiences behind him.

“A couple of times I had played every round so thought I might play in the final. But the manager picks the team he thinks is right and that’s that,” he said.

“The time we pipped Liverpool to the title at City, I started in five of six games and then missed out on the final one when we actually won it.

“The one that stung me the most was when we had won the trophy and the manager came up to me and said ‘I should have played you,’ but he never did.

“I thought that was a bit pointless – I don’t know what you’re supposed to do with that. That one probably hurt me the most, but I’m not going to say who it was.”

Milner said his decision to move to Liverpool in the off-season was to win trophies, and the stand-in skipper is hoping he can help the Merseyside club to their first European crown in 11 years.

“When I moved it was because I thought I had a chance of winning trophies, even thought people thought I’d have more of that at City,” he explained.

“A big reason I came was to play more football and not have any regrets at the end of my career, and get the most out of it.

“I’m 30 and although it’s not old, it’s probably the latter phase of my career.

“I want to play as much as I can, look back and think that I left nothing out there, no wasted games – you want to be remembered for what you’ve won and what sort of player you are.”

Wed 18 May, 2016
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