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James Milner: “I Should Have Done Better”

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The vice-captain took the blame for Liverpool’s early FA Cup exit.

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Liverpool - Emirates FA Cup Third Round Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

The FA Cup may not be on the top of any Liverpool fan’s priority list, but the Reds’ early banishment from the competition means the loss of another opportunity to win a trophy. More concretely, it’s also a lost opportunity to get more players some much-needed playing time.

James Milner, in response to their 2-1 defeat to Wolves, said that Liverpool now have to prove “this is just a blip” in Liverpool’s otherwise stellar season.

He also put his hand up and took responsibility for Liverpool’s loss after being at fault for Wolves’ first goal in the match on Monday. He also refused to blame the changed squad for the defeat.

“I think when you’re a team like us with the players we have, you want to win every single game,” Milner said.

“We’re disappointed to not win and go through. We want to progress in every game we play. There were changes but we all train together all the time. I think we just didn’t get going really, didn’t get the passing going, just weren’t quite at our level.

“It was always going to be a tough game, they’re a good team, well organised. It’s not an easy place to come, we knew that from the game a few weeks back. I should have done better. The pitch all night was a bit tricky and balls were a bit lively but it’s the same for both teams.

“It wasn’t as easy to get the passing going in those tight areas as we would have liked but it was my mistake for the first goal and it cost us ultimately. Without that maybe it’s 1-1 and we get a replay.”

Milner may be alone in wishing that the game played out to a draw, requiring a replay to determine a winner, but it always stings to see Liverpool lose — even when it may end up benefiting them in the long run.

Now the big concern is that Liverpool need to bounce after two successive losses and Dejan Lovren going off injured. They play Brighton next, and it feels like this particular match will be very important to maintain the positive momentum that they had before this bad week.