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Milner: Liverpool ready to bounce back after recent blip

5:30 PM EST 1/8/19
James Milner Liverpool 2018-19
The former England international midfielder says the Reds' recent struggles will soon be behind them as they continue their league title push

Liverpool midfielder James Milner believes the club's recent struggles are just a blip and that the team will soon be back to its best.

The Reds have lost two straight matches in two different competitions, starting with a narrow 2-1 defeat to Manchester City that reopened the Premier League title race.

Liverpool followed that loss up with defeat to Wolves in the FA Cup third round, knocking the Reds out of that competition before they even got going.

Those results have raised some concerns, but Milner insists that he is not worried about the group's ability to bounce back.

"Every team has them in the season. You’re never going to go a full season without having blips," Milner said.

"I think the start of this season we weren’t playing our best but we were getting results. Back to back defeats now, which really isn’t good enough for us, but you have blips in a season.

"It’s not about having those blips - they’re expected and no team goes throughout a season without having them. It’s how you respond and how you bounce back.

"I think you’ve seen the character in the squad in the last few years and the players we have to know we will bounce back. We have to show that, though, it’s easy saying it in an interview, we have to do it on the pitch at the weekend."

Milner also says it is not all doom and gloom from the most recent defeat as several young players stood out despite Wolves' 2-1 victory.

The midfielder pointed to the performances of youngsters Rafa Camacho, Curtis Jones and Ki-Jana Hoever as bright spots for the Reds in the loss and tipped the trio for big futures going forward.

"It’s not something that you want as a team, especially at Liverpool. We have to make sure we bounce back and look at where we can get better," he said.

"On the plus side, I think it’s good for the young boys to come in and get that experience. It’s not good to taste defeat but you normally learn more in a defeat than you do in a win. I think you’ve got to look at those boys today and say how well they’ve done.

"Ki coming on after a minute and playing like he did [was] absolutely outstanding. He’s going to be a top, top player you can see that straight away. His temperament, he’s comfortable on the ball.

"Rafa and Curtis as well, it was tough because it wasn’t the easiest game to get on the ball and get the passing going and get Curtis into the game as much with his dribbling, but you get those games, especially in the FA Cup."

Next up for the Reds is a return to Premier League play as Liverpool face 13th-place Brighton over the weekend.

Jurgen Klopp's side currently maintain a four-point lead over Man City, and an immediate response will be required to maintain that lead as the title race truly heats up.

"We want to progress in every game we play whether it’s the Champions League, League Cup or the Premier League," Milner said.

"It’s disappointing but we have to make sure we recover and bounce back from this but, like we said before, we have to reset our sights for a few days’ time for another big game.

"The games keep coming thick and fast and hopefully we can get a few of the injured lads back as well."