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James Milner hoping Aston Villa mauling can “kickstart” late-season push

James Milner urged Liverpool to use their thrashing of Aston Villa as inspiration to mount a run for Europe.

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - Sunday, February 14, 2016: Liverpool's James Milner in action against Aston Villa during the Premier League match at Villa Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The Reds thumped Villa 6-0 on Sunday to move three points behind fifth-placed Manchester United and end a run of five games in all competitions without a win.

Milner and Daniel Sturridge put the visitors in control before Emre Can, Divock Origi, Nathaniel Clyne and Kolo Toure scored in the second half.

Liverpool have to wait until March 2 to play again in the Barclays Premier League, when they host Manchester City, and go to Augsburg in the Europa League on Thursday and Milner is eager to put a run together.

“Hopefully that can kickstart this final period of the season with some important games coming up, get the boys some confidence in front of goal and hopefully a lot more chances will go in,” said the England midfielder.

“It looks a lot better when you look at the league table and see that. It’s important and hopefully we can build on the confidence from the chances we’ve created and taken.

“We have been creating chances, but not putting them in the back of the net. If we can keep getting goals from everywhere, contributing and taking a bit of pressure off the front boys then that’ll help as well.

“I had a convo with Hendo the other day and said I think we’re due a game like this where things go in.”

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - Sunday, February 14, 2016: Liverpool's Divock Origi celebrates scoring the fourth goal against Aston Villa with team-mates during the Premier League match at Villa Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Milner played for Villa between 2008 and 2010, following a 2005-2006 loan spell, and admitted he was sad to see his former club on the brink of the drop.

“It’s disappointing to see them in that position, but they need to bounce back and hopefully get a strong run together,” he told Liverpool’s official site.

“One team always seems to put a run together and get out of trouble. It’s a long way back for them but look at Leicester, so who knows?”

Defeat left Villa eight points from safety and looking certainties for relegation to the Sky Bet Championship as boss Remi Garde admitted he felt humiliated.

Garde added: “I will continue giving confidence to my players as I have done since I came to the football club. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t work. Sometimes it’s my fault. Sometimes it’s not my fault.

“I am just focused on my job.”


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