But Milner believes England's win over Brazil at Wembley last month - albeit in a friendly international - has given them belief should they qualify for the 2014 World Cup.
Milner was a young boy watching in his local cricket club when Stuart Pearce's back pass led to San Marino scoring after 8.3 seconds in another World Cup qualifier.
England went onto win that game 7-1 but that early wake-up call is sufficient reason for Milner not to take anything for granted in this week's clash which will precede a more testing meeting with Montenegro in Podgorica.
Milner said: "Every game you have to treat the same whether it is San Marino or Brazil. You are playing for England so you play to the best of your ability.
"These games are never easy. People say we will beat San Marino 8-0 but it never happens like that. It is international football.
"When a team sets up to defend from the first minute with all the players behind the ball, it is not easy to get a breakthrough.
"San Marino are a team who, if they go down 1-0 down, will not push for an equaliser. They will stick to their guns so it is important we work hard on our attacking play.
"We need to work out how we can break them down and ease the tension and then enjoy ourselves. That's when you play your best football and hopefully we can score a lot of goals.
"The longer the game goes on without scoring, when it gets close to half-time, it can play on your mind and you can make forced passes.
"You should remain patient. It is important we do the things we know we can do well. We need to keep playing like we have been."
Milner admitted: "I remember what happened in 1993. San Marino scored after about eight seconds.
"I was watching on the TV at my local cricket club. It was one of those moments when everything seemed to stand still.
"It just went deathly quiet. I expected it to be a good game to watch and after eight seconds it was 1-0 to them.
"It shows what can happen and hopefully that will not happen on Friday.
"Hopefully we will be the ones to get the early goal. We have to make sure we do the job from the first second to the last second."
Milner believes England's 2-1 win over the Brazilians last month courtesy of Frank Lampard's stunning strike will stand them in good stead should go through to the finals.
He said: "Every time you play Brazil, you are playing one of the best sides in the world. To get a win like gives you a lot of confidence.
"It was a good performance as well and we can take a lot of confidence from it, even though it was a friendly.
"We know that if, hopefully, we do qualify, and come up against those teams again, we are well equipped. We know we can get a win against them."