Milner bullish over Euro dream
In a week that started with more discussion about the perceived negativity of Roberto Mancini's tactics and ends with a meeting with former boss Mark Hughes at Fulham on Sunday, question marks have again been raised about City's ability to fulfil the lofty ambitions of owner Sheikh Mansour. As one of the relative newcomers, having arrived at Eastlands from Aston Villa this summer, Milner had to work out the answers for himself before committing to a move away from a side that had forced their way into the top six. The answers were all positive. "City will get there slightly quicker," he said. "We are in a better position with the owners investing in the way they have and hopefully we will soon be in the Champions League and beyond. "We are all desperate to win trophies. That is why I came here. "Everything is moving forward. It is all there for us. Now it is up to us to go ahead and do it." Milner echoes the words of Mancini on Friday. The Italian has been quick to play down the personal aspect of Sunday's encounter at Craven Cottage, knowing his own record is very similar to that of Hughes before the Welshman was unceremoniously dumped just before Christmas last year. Forceful interjections from club staff insisting the two records are not like-for-like - given Hughes had started his second season and Mancini had not been in position for less than a year - are not being afforded as much credence as City would like purely because similar assurances were made about Hughes. There is one key difference though. The Blues' league position. Whereas City's record last year kept them out of the top four, the bizarre nature of the Premier League this term means City are firmly established within it. And it is that placing, even beyond a desperate desire to land a first trophy since 1976, that will determine Mancini's fate. Like his manager, Milner has no doubts about the Blues fulfilling their destiny, which will wind the clock back to the early days of the England star's career, when he believed personal ambitions could be met at boyhood idols Leeds. Born and brought up in the city, Milner has watched from afar as the West Yorkshire outfit crumbled. And if there is one hope beyond his own aims, it is that when City finally arrive at their destination, it is for Leeds not to be far behind. "I have not been back to play against Leeds since I left," said Milner. "I have played at Elland Road for England Under-21s and got a good reception but it would be quite a difficult day for me. "It would mean playing against the team you have supported all your life. "But it would be quite an experience and I would love to do it. "It is good to see them on the way back up. The manager (Simon Grayson) is doing a great job and hopefully they can make it back into the Premier League, if not this season, then next."