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'This man is on fire'- Klopp in awe of Liverpool veteran Milner

5:18 AM IST 26/09/19
James Milner Liverpool 2019
The Reds boss heaped praise upon his most experienced player, who opened the scoring in a routine Carabao Cup win

James Milner might be 33 but the Liverpool veteran is on fire, according to Jurgen Klopp. 

Making just his third start of the season, Milner fired home the Reds' opener on Wednesday night as they snuck past MK Dons 2-0 in the third round of the Carabao Cup. 

Scoring in the competition for the first time since 2010, when he struck for Aston Villa in the final against Manchester United, Milner showed he's baring no ill effects of age. 

Deployed at left-back, the 33-year-old completed a game-high 114 passes and created three chances for his side.

While now struggling to get into Klopp's starting side on a regular basis, the German coach is well aware of Milner's good form. 

"This man is on fire, that's how it is," Klopp said post-match. 

"He helps a lot and he is a real model for the young players. If he could play every day, Milly would be like this every day so that is brilliant."

Though far from their scintillating best, Milner was happy to see a number of younger Liverpool players stake their claim for more minutes and increase competition for places. 

“It’s always tough when you have a mixture of guys who haven’t played many minutes and a group of youngsters, but you could see the style of football we wanted to play,” Milner told Sky Sports.

“We lost our way a little bit in the second half, and didn’t keep the ball as well, but I thought it was a pretty solid performance.

“When you look at how good our squad is, it’s not easy for the youngsters to get to the level they need to be, but they’ve shown they want to get better and better. Everyone is pushing, and that’s what the senior boys need - competition for places.”

Liverpool started the match with a youthful attack made up of teenagers Rhian Brewster, Curtis Jones and Harvey Elliot. 

While progression in the Carabao Cup was vital for the Reds, Klopp feels the competition is an ideal place for his younger players to be tested.  

"It is so important that we still have these games where we are brave enough to use the boys," Klopp said. 

"We are not here because we don't disrespect the competition, we are here to win the game, there is no other reason. We don't fly to London and do all that stuff and then say goodbye.

"I am really happy that we went through, that is cool. And that the boys felt adult football as well, that is really important. There were very physical situations for their offensive players especially. It wasn't overly hard but hard challenges and they can show in moments how good they are, so all good."