James Milner is hoping that Liverpool can develop a ‘habit’ of winning trophies as the club prepare to begin their Club World Cup campaign this evening.
The European champions have travelled to Qatar for the inter-continental tournament this week, where they will face Mexican side Monterrey in the semi-final today as they seek to lift the trophy and be crowned world champions for the first time.
Liverpool ended their long wait for a trophy under Jurgen Klopp by lifting the Champions League back in June, while they also added the UEFA Super Cup to their collection with victory over Chelsea in August.
Milner admits it was important to secure their first piece of silverware under the German’s management, but says the side are focussed on adding further trophies to the cabinet as they bid for an extended period of success.
“Since I have been at the club it was important for the club to get that first trophy on the board,” Milner said at a press conference in Qatar. “We had been unfortunate in a few finals but the team has moved on and we have heard many people talk about it.
“We don’t want to be remembered as the team who won one major trophy. We want people to remember us as a group and forget which year we won each trophy.
“You could see how we bounced back from the Champions League defeat when we bounced back and won it this year.
“There is a long way to go in the League but with the tempo and way we have played takes a special mentality and we have shown that – but there is a long way to go but the group is focused on the next step ahead.
“It is special to be here. You have to be successful to be here and other teams from around the world have also earned their right to be here. All strong teams.
“It will be difficult but you want to get that winning habit and win trophies together as a group and to keep adding them. We are in good form and hopefully we can keep that momentum going. Obviously, it is fantastic to win a trophy.
“This is the trophy the club have not won so it would be nice to have that, so hopefully we can add that.”
Liverpool have raced into an early lead at the top of the Premier League following an unbeaten start to the season, though the club’s involvement in the Club World Cup will see them playing catch up when they return to domestic action.
Many have criticised the timing of the tournament mid-season, including Jurgen Klopp, though Milner has refused to label the competition as a distraction and says the Reds are hopeful of continuing their fine form despite a congested run of fixtures.
“Hopefully we can continue our good form as we have been in good form. If a chance to win a trophy is a distraction, then this is a pretty good distraction.
“We just want to keep being successful and keep winning trophies. You have to be successful to be at this tournament so hopefully we can go out there and win the two games.
“It is something this squad is very strong at. We are looking at that next game. The boys are always working towards the next game but it is all about recovering which is difficult in itself.
“The boys have done it very well so far and hopefully the boys can keep doing that but in terms of schedule, it is no different to what we would have had, had we not been here as we would have had another game at the weekend in the Premier League so nothing has changed.”