Milner: Best yet to come from England
James Milner (pictured) is worried the 'real' Mario Balotelli will turn up on Sunday
James Milner insists the best is still to come from England at Euro 2012 as they continue to adjust to the methods and demands of new manager Roy Hodgson.
England are through to the quarter-finals against Italy in Kiev on Sunday after triumphing 1-0 against co-hosts Ukraine at the Donbass Stadium on Tuesday evening. They have already acquired that hard to beat quality under Hodgson and have conceded only three goals in five games under his command.
Milner said: "The gaffer hasn't been in the job long and he plays a different style to the previous manager. He wants us tucked in, compact and tight and to be difficult to beat and it has worked so far."
He added: "I think Ukraine were on top first half against us and we didn't get into our stride, but it showed the spirit and determination and the organisation of the team to restrict them to long shots.
"There is still more to come from the team. The manager only came in just before the tournament and we had injuries during the build-up. The lads have done a great job and, the longer we are together and with the manager, we will get better."
Milner has faith in England defender Joleon Lescott to win the battle with Manchester City team-mate and Italian striker Mario Balotelli in Sunday's Euro 2012 quarter-final in Kiev. England and City midfielder Milner is expecting the "special talent" side of Balotelli to be on view against England rather than the "disinterested" version which is sometimes evident.
But Milner has confidence in Lescott, who has impressed alongside John Terry during the three group matches to date.
He said: "We've seen Mario, he is a different player, he's going to cause you problems. He is very strong, shooting-wise he can cause problems, he is tricky, a clever player as well.
"He is a danger. There are two Marios. There is one who turns up sometimes in training and it is a bit cold and he is not too interested.
"The other time he really wants it, as I'm sure he will against England, and he is a special talent. He is a top player and we know that. I'm sure he will be at the top of his game."
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Certainly room for improvement from Milner.
I'm not sure why the general consensus is that we overachieved in qualifying for the quarter finals. Most of Englands players are from top 4 clubs. Most of Swedens and Ukraines are from clubs that are at the level of Bolton or Wigan. French players are from top clubs generally.
It is like saying Man Utd or City would overachieve to qualify from a group that included Liverpool, Wigan and Bolton!
If the best is yet to come then Milner for one needs to definitely up his own performance as so far he's been very 3rd rate, always looking sideways & back rather than taking on the full backs
Bring Carroll back in to lead from the front as he at least shows a great passion & desire to play & when not in possesion chases the ball & pressure the opposition a lot more than can be said for the "Thatch"
Sorry William don't agree with you there mate!
Carroll has played well and deserves his starting position, so did Welbeck before Rooney arrived and he had to play second fiddle to him. Walcott has been good as an impact player.
Milner and Young have been very disappointing, especially Milner who never seems to push forward when on the ball, always looks to play it back.
The Itais are expecting England to play Rooney, I'd surprise them but not playing him.
I'd play Carroll instead he'd cause them much more problems than Rooney.
2. Milner, i must admit your performance against Ukraine gives the idea that you need to be rested, you looked tired and off your normal game.