I feared Klopp would boot me out at Liverpool – Milner

Date published: Saturday 19th November 2016 12:21

James Milner: Adapting to new left-back role

James Milner admits he feared Jurgen Klopp was set to tell him he was unwanted at Liverpool when called into the manager’s office over summer.

Milner has emerged as a key figure for the Reds this season, but playing feared the worst when Klopp asked for a chat one day after pre-season training.

But instead of telling him he was free to leave, Milner revealed the German was asking if he would play at left-back this season.

Having decided that Alberto Moreno was not fit for purpose and drawing a blank on possible replacements, Klopp turned to Milner.

“It was pre-season, the manager has not been there too long… there were a million and one things in my head,” Milner admitted to The Times.

“You think about everything and, “Does he not want me?” was one.

“I am not going to turn around and lie and say, “I love playing there.” But if that is me being part of a successful team and contributing then I will do anything I can for Liverpool.

“Ultimately, the team comes first. If that is what is best for the team then you do it. From that moment on, I was training left back in pre-season and learning the position.

“Full-back is a position which changes massively depending on who the manager is.

“A left back now is different to a left back 10 years ago and that is why I have not studied anyone. It would be pointless. And a left back for Jurgen Klopp is going to be playing a lot different to a left back for another manager.

“I would find it harder playing left back for another manager in another system because Jurgen likes his full backs to play, he wants his teams to be fluid. There are going to be times when I will end up in centre midfield and centre midfield will be covering me.”

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