What James Milner said in rousing speech to Liverpool team-mates before kick-off
James Milner issued a message of inspiration to the Liverpool players during the warm-up for their Premier League clash with Bournemouth. The veteran took it upon himself to try and help sharpen up focus and concentration levels as the Reds looked to get back to winning ways against the struggling Cherries.
With captain Jordan Henderson absent with a hamstring injury, Milner was handed the armband on his return to the side.
The Liverpool skipper was sat with Andy Robertson behind the dugout, with both no doubt itching to get out there.
His authority was evident ahead of the match when he pictured rousing his fellow team-mates in a circle as they stretched.
Milner said to the players: “Reactions straight away.
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“As soon as we lose it bodies around it and play it out that area. Everything we do, highest tempo today.
“Doesn’t matter who scores, we score, they score, every kick off is a trigger for us.”
There was an early lapse in concentration from Joe Gomez who did appear to be shoved in the back by Callum Wilson, who gave Bournemouth a surprise lead.
It was the worst possible start for the league leaders who are looking to relieve some pressure after back to back defeats.
Liverpool grew into the game though, with Mohamed Salah equalising with a neat finish from Sadio Mane’s pass.
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The Senegal star then gave Liverpool the lead with a tidy finish.
Milner was making his first start since January when he led the team out against Everton in the FA Cup.
He would only last the opening exchanges though as he limped off with a hamstring injury.
The former England international returned in the 1-0 win at Norwich, playing just six minutes from the bench.
Liverpool will be without Alisson for the clash with Atletico on Wednesday after he suffered a hip injury in training.
“Unfortunately Ali is out. He had a little incident in training before the Chelsea game,” Klopp said.
“We all thought it was nothing and it was clear he would not play anyway, the plan was he was on the bench.
“Then we thought, ‘Come on, we don’t have to take any risks’ so we left him out of the squad. Hew had a scan the next day and they found something. It is a slight injury to a a small muscle in the hip region.
“He is not available for tomorrow and next week no, and that means Atletico. I don’t want to say ‘no’ to the Merseyside derby but I don’t know if he will be available.
“We have to judge the situation anew. I would say after the international break 100 per cent. Whatever we can get before, that we will see.”
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