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Milner: Van Dijk gives me stick for being old & I try not to drink too much Ribena!

13:37 GMT+3 25/10/2019
James Milner old man celebration 2018-19
The experienced Liverpool star says he is not feeling his age, but certain team-mates at Anfield are eager to remind him of his advancing years

James Milner admits to receiving stick over his age from Liverpool team-mate Virgil van Dijk, but the 33-year-old believes he still has plenty left in the tank as he endeavours to earn a new contract at Anfield.

The versatile former England international is into the final 12 months of his current agreement with the Premier League title hopefuls.

He remains a useful asset for Jurgen Klopp, with his ability to operate in a number of different positions and keep his cool under pressure marking him out as an important squad player.

Those qualities are recognised by those around him, but certain team-mates take great joy in pointing out to a seasoned performer that he is advancing in years despite maintaining impeccably high standards.

Milner told talkSPORT: “To be honest I feel fine, I feel the same.

“I’m waiting for that day when we do a session and I feel it a bit harder than the boys.

“It’s always nice when I’m asking the young lads if I’m finding a hard session tough and they’re agreeing with me. I don’t know, they might be doing that just to make me feel better!

“Virgil gives me plenty of stick – that’s what one of the celebrations last season was about [his ‘old man’ celebration after scoring against Cardiff back in April].

“He’s always joking. When there’s Premiership Years or a game in black and white on the TV in the treatment room, he’ll say, ‘Milly, what number are you?’

“It’s good fun, but I feel really good at the moment. I feel no different to how I have been.

“I’ll keep working hard, keep pushing and keep contributing as long as I can.”

Milner has been a model professional throughout a distinguished playing career which has delivered Premier League title glory at Manchester City and a Champions League crown with Liverpool.

He prides himself on his dedication to his craft, even if his apparently ‘boring’ approach can see him become a figure of fun at times.

“I’ve always tried to look after myself as well as I can in the gym and with eating and drinking,” Milner added.

“I’ve never touched alcohol. I don’t have anything against it but early on I made that decision.

“And making sure I don’t have too much Ribena as well, that’s important!”

Milner has taken in 12 appearances for Liverpool this season, recording two goals, and is looking to help Jurgen Klopp’s side maintain a standing at the Premier League summit which currently has them six points clear of the chasing pack.

The Reds will face another stern test of their credentials when they return to domestic action on Sunday, with a 4-1 European win over Genk in midweek set to be followed by a home date with Tottenham.