Liverpool’s Mr Versatile James Milner has shut down suggestions the league leaders are feeling the pressure at the top of the Premier League, saying that the pressure is ‘irrelevant’.
However, following City’s shock 2-1 loss to Newcastle a week ago, Liverpool missed the chance to extend their lead to seven points after they were held to a 1-1 draw against Leicester, a game in which they looked uncomfortable.
They then saw their lead at the top cut further, when City beat Arsenal, while the Merseyside club once again were held to a 1-1 draw, this time by West Ham, with the visitors once again not looking at their sparkling best.
However, speaking after the game at the London Stadium, James Milner rejected the notion that Liverpool are once again crumbling under the pressure of a title challenge, saying that the real pressure in the Premier League is when you are fighting against relegation.
“Am I concerned being top of the league in February? No, I’m happy,” Milner told reporters after the game.
“The pressure is irrelevant really. You take care of your own games. If someone said we’d be three points clear at this stage of the season you’d have taken it.
“There were people saying at the start of the season that City are the best team the Premier League has ever seen and stuff like that, so to be just close to them is good for us.
“We just want to concentrate on our games. Playing for relegation and livelihoods and people’s jobs, that’s pressure. Being at the top of the table, we should be enjoying it.”
Milner also predicted that the final 13 games of the season could be a bit of a roller-coaster ride for all of the teams involved
“I’ve been fortunate enough to win titles, I’ve been unfortunate enough to get relegated as well. I’ve experienced it, and these are the times you should be enjoying.
“There’s a long way to go, a lot can happen, and it wouldn’t surprise me if the league lead changes hands a couple of times before the end of the season.
“We’ve just got to take care of our business. The last couple of games, we haven’t played well but we’re still picking up points. That’s the positive side, we’re not losing games. There’s plenty we can improve on which is nice to know.”
Milner is the only player within Liverpool’s current squad that has experience of winning the English league title, winning it in 2011/12 and 2013/14 during his time at Manchester City.