Milner keen to keep place

Villa winger sets sights on South Africa

Milner: World Cup dream

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James Milner admits he has no qualms with being asked to play out of position for England.

The Aston Villa winger was awarded an international debut by Fabio Capello against Holland last month and is desperate to remain part of the fold.

Milner shone against the Dutch on the left wing, stepping off the bench to lay on the first of Jermain Defoe's double in a 2-2.

He admits he is happiest occupying an attacking role, but insists he is prepared to play anywhere if it allows him to represent his country.

"My strengths are attacking," said the 23-year-old.

"My best positions are wide either side, or even in the centre going forward.

"But if the manager comes to me and says he wants me to play at full-back, I will. Wherever the manager wants me to play, I will.

"Personally I think I am better going forward but I suppose it is a compliment if people think you can play in other positions. If the manager thinks I can play right-back it shows he thinks I can adapt and that I have a brain."


Milner has recently made the step up into the senior fold after winning a record-breaking 46 caps at U21 level.

He is now looking to become as integral a part of Capello's plans as he was with Stuart Pearce's Young Lions, especially with the 2010 World Cup fast approaching.

England can book their place in South Africa with victory over Croatia on Wednesday, while they face Slovenia in a friendly on Saturday, and Milner is keen to get a run-out in the Wembley double-header.

"We need to finish the job off this week and qualify," he said.

"The second game of these two is massive.

"We're looking to maintain our momentum and keep confidence high in the first game and then hopefully we can finish the job in the second game and qualify for South Africa.

"Personally, it can be pretty daunting when you come into a squad with as much talent as we have. But I know a few faces and everyone as a group makes it easy to settle in quickly."