Milner keen to catch the eye

A 4-1 win over Aston Villa on Saturday allowed Roberto Mancini’s

men to open up a two-point lead at the top of the Premier League,

but there is no let-up in the games with Villarreal and Manchester

United on the horizon this week. The Spaniards visit the Etihad

Stadium for a must-win Champions League clash on Tuesday night,

while Sunday’s Manchester derby at Old Trafford will pit the top

flight’s first and second-placed teams against each other. But

Milner, who scored City’s fourth against Villa, is refusing to be

daunted by the size of the tasks ahead. “Every game we play we want

to win,” said the England international. “They’re big games but it

won’t change our philosophy. We’ll go and try and win. We’ve had a

slow start in the Champions League but hopefully we’ll pick up and

put in a performance that we know we can. “It’s a tough group, and

obviously our first taste of Champions League football together,

but we know we can improve on our Champions League performances so

far. A win is vitally important and I’m sure we can get it.” Maybe

with the meeting with Yellow Submarine in mind, Mancini left

playmakers Samir Nasri and David Silva on the bench against Villa,

while eight-goal Sergio Aguero was not risked following a groin

strain. A City side sporting four changes still had enough to see

off Alex McLeish’s men, though, and Milner believes that shows how

strong a squad the Italian has at his disposal. He said: “It’s easy

when you’re playing every game, but we have got so many games that

the manager is going to use his squad. “We’re very lucky that we’ve

got a great squad of players so when you get you chance you have to

try and play as well as you can. The main thing is contributing to

the team and the most important thing is Manchester City winning

football matches. That’s all that matters.” Despite another stellar

performance against his former club – Milner refused to celebrate

his goal as a mark of respect – the 25-year-old is not guaranteed

to be given a start against Villarreal. Often a victim of his own

versatility, he could be forced to make way for any one of a number

of big-name players waiting in the wings, but he insists that team

success should always come before personal preference. “Where the

manager asks me to play I will play,” he said. “I’ve obviously got

better positions and places where I feel I can perform to a better

standard but I will do the best I can wherever I’m asked to play.

“Manchester City winning matches is the most important thing. It’s

not about individuals, it’s about the team.”