Liverpool midfielder James Milner has admitted culpability for his mistake in his side’s 2-1 FA Cup third round defeat to Wolves at the Molineux Stadium.
The Englishman had a disappointing game and was dispossessed by Diogo Jota, who found Raúl Jiménez to slot home the opener. Divock Origi had briefly levelled the scores for the visitors after half-time, but a stunning strike from Rúben Neves saw the Wanderers progress into the fourth round at the Reds’ expense.
Milner believed it was an uncharacteristic error and despite commenting on the poor conditions of the pitch, he admitted that had he not made the mistake, the Anfield club could have forced a replay.
As quoted by the Liverpool Echo, Milner said: “I should have done better. The pitch all night was a bit tricky and balls were a bit lively but it’s the same for both teams.
“It wasn’t as easy to get the passing going in those tight areas as we would have liked but it was my mistake for the first goal and it cost us ultimately. Without that maybe it’s 1-1 and we get a replay.”
The Reds triumphed 2-0 in their first meeting between the two sides this season at Molineux, in December, a result that saw Jürgen Klopp’s men finish four points clear at the top of the Premier League table at Christmas.
However, when asked whether their elimination from the competition helped them to prioritise their league ambition, Milner dismissed the suggestion, indicating that the side want to win ‘every game’.
“I think when you’re a team like us with the players we have, you want to win every single game,” he added, “We’re disappointed to not win and go through. We want to progress in every game we play.
“There were changes but we all train together all the time. I think we just didn’t get going really, didn’t get the passing going, just weren’t quite at our level.
“It was always going to be a tough game, they’re a good team, well organised. It’s not an easy place to come, we knew that from the game a few weeks back.”
The FA Cup defeat also condemned Liverpool to consecutive defeats for the first time this season, following their 2-1 league defeat to Manchester City, and it also meant that the side are currently winless in the new calendar year. However, Milner admitted their form is just a minor ‘blip’ and backed his side to get back to winning ways.
“You’re never going to go a full season without having blips. I think the start of this season we weren’t playing our best but we were getting results.
“Back to back defeats now, which really isn’t good enough for us, but you have blips in a season. It’s about how you respond. I think you’ve seen the character in the squad in the last few years and the players we have to know we will bounce back.”