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James Milner ready to create “fortress mentality” at Anfield

James Milner is ready to “build that fortress mentality” at Anfield after the weekend’s disappointment, starting against Crystal Palace in the first home game of the season.

The Reds did not get off to a flyer on the opening day, the opposite, in fact, was true as Jurgen Klopp‘s men rescued a point against a Fulham side intent on making an early statement.

When the margin for error is so slim any dropped point is felt and Liverpool know the only response is to head to Anfield and collect all three points, marking the start of a formidable home campaign.

Liverpool dropped points at Anfield only four times in the league last season, all draws, but Milner is eager to improve that record and establish a “fortress mentality.”

“It’s how you bounce back and we’ve been working hard in training this week and we will continue to do so going into the next game,” Milner told Sky Sports in the lead up to Monday’s game.

SALZBURG, AUSTRIA - Wednesday, July 27, 2022: Liverpool's James Milner during a pre-season friendly between FC Red Bull Salzburg and Liverpool FC at the Red Bull Arena. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“Home games are always very important on the first one and to try and build that fortress mentality and winning the games are very important at home.

“It’s not going to be easy, we know that, they obviously didn’t get the three points in their first game either.

“For us, we have to try and get the performance where we want it, it wasn’t there at the weekend so hopefully we can improve on that and get the three points.”

As for the way Liverpool started the season, Milner knows the Reds “were not good enough” but no trophies are won this early and the Reds can still build strong foundations.

“At this time of the season it’s always just trying to hit the ground running and start well, you can’t win any trophies in the first part of the season but you can get yourself in position,” Milner said.

“I think that’s what it’s always about, get through Christmas, hopefully, still be in the League Cup and get yourself in a good position in the league and then see what happens from there.

2JK4CGP 30th July 2022; The King Power Stadium, Leicester, Leicestershire, England; FA Community Shield, Liverpool versus Manchester City; Liverpool players celebrate Trent Alexander-Arnold?s goal after 21 minutes (1-0)

“I don’t think you go into the season thinking, ‘we’re going to go for this trophy or that trophy’. We try and win every single game that is in front of us.

“I think it’s important that we start well and we’ve had a pre-season and come through that and people are trying to find their feet, it’s the same for every team.

“We, obviously, didn’t get the result we wanted in the first game of the season, but it’s down to us to rectify that, bounce back and make sure we hit our levels sooner rather than later.

“I think it was disappointing, obviously not getting the result. I think we probably did not deserve to win the game so you could look at the result as positive, I suppose, that we weren’t good enough but we got a point out of it.

“It was always going to be a tough place to go but I think looking at ourselves we didn’t play the level we would like, but that happens sometimes in football.”

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