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Milner: "Brisbane Were a Good Test"

James Milner was pleased with scoring the winning goal along with the opportunity for players to gain fitness against competent opposition.

Chris Hyde/Getty Images

While it's true that many pre-season games are for commercial reasons against opposition that shouldn't hope to trouble the Premier League's leading lights, there is much that can be achieved during the time that teammates spend together in preparation for a new campaign. James Milner said as much before flying out with the rest of the squad and staff but underlined the importance of different factors after scoring the winning goal against Brisbane Roar.

"It's important to get results, but obviously fitness is the most important thing," Milner said after scoring the decisive goal to continue Liverpool's pre-season winning streak. "Brisbane were a good test for us tonight, they moved the ball around well and it was tough for us. But we managed to get the win in the end and personally it was pleasing for me to get on the scoresheet and get 90 minutes. It maybe got a deflection but I'm claiming it!

"We have so many games coming up that it's important everyone gets a chance. There are so many good players here.We moved the ball quickly and you need to be able to do that against teams who are going to sit back and defend well. You need to move the ball around quickly if you're going to break those teams down."

What is particularly heartening is seeing Adam Lallana and James Milner score goals. Those two will play a vital role as older members of the squad with various qualities that can help Brendan Rodgers implement systems and ways of working that will require leadership. Jordan Henderson may be the club captain, but others will need to play a role in the dressing room as well as on the pitch. Again, this is something that Milner has already mentioned. What's curious is reading how stunned the former Manchester City player was when Liverpool's famous anthem was proudly sung by loyal Reds.

"It was incredible," Milner remarked on the passionate rendition of You'll Never Walk Alone from fans in the stadium. "The anthem before the game and the support we have had. People had told me, and obviously I knew, that Liverpool are a big club, so I was aware it would be like that. But that was something I haven't experienced before."

It's unlikely that much will inspire excessive praise from the latest Liverpool number seven, but it's certainly good to see him settling into a side that appears motivated with staff and directors working effectively behind the scenes.

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