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'Milner asked if he could come along' - Critchley

The Reds veteran was quick to offer his support despite being stuck on the sidelines during Liverpool’s FA Cup win last night.

James Milner pictured watch Liverpool's FA Cup win last night.
James Milner pictured watch Liverpool's FA Cup win last night.

NEIL CRITCHLEY has revealed the surprising role James Milner played as a young Liverpool side defeated Shrewsbury 1-0 in their FA Cup fourth round replay on Tuesday night. 

While the Reds’ squad have been given time off over the Premier League’s winter break, one senior figure who has remained at Melwood is Milner, who was watching from the stands on Tuesday.

But the Liverpool veteran did far more than just watch the action with Critchley full of praise for Milner’s willingness to help out behind the scenes. 

“James Milner trained with us yesterday and asked if he could come along,” Critchley revealed. 

“He was very respectful to ask, he asked if he could come in the dressing room. Of course! He’s achieved so much in the game.

He was giving words of advice to the players, he was vocal in the dressing room. I can’t thank him enough. He’s not available yet but he was certainly jumping up and down behind me, itching to get back.”

An own goal in the 75th minute was all that separated the two sides on the night with the Reds now set to face Chelsea in the next round. 

Jurgen Klopp and the majority of Liverpool’s senior stars are expected to return for that match in March but Critchley was quick to stress the club’s young players are hungry for more opportunities. 

“From the first whistle, the maturity the boys showed to play that game was remarkable. They calmed me on the sidelines. We’re the deserved winners on the night,” Critchley said.

We don’t want this to be a defining moment of their careers. We want this to be a taste to whet their appetites. They want more of it. It gives them the belief and confidence in the work they do on a daily basis that people don’t see until a night like this.

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“The boss was in touch this afternoon with some words of wisdom. I’ve not checked my phone yet but he’s buzzing and we’ve given him a game against Chelsea.

“That was the message we gave the boys, play well tonight and they could get that chance and Chelsea away is a great game.

“We played like a Liverpool team and I am so proud of them. They’ve made a step forward. I was really pleased with how we stood up to the physicality of the game. We did things outstandingly well. It was much better than the Aston Villa game.

“Jurgen gives you clarity and belief. Play the Liverpool way! This is us, this is what we do, what we stand for, what we believe in and you better be ready for it. From the first minute, I think we did that.”

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