Milner eyes maximum points haul

James Milner says it is important for Liverpool to claim as many points as possible during this ‘critical time of the year’ that sees the club play a number of games over a hectic festive period.

The Reds take on Stoke City on Tuesday before facing Manchester City on Saturday and Sunderland on Monday.

With just nine points separating the top four EPL sides, the experienced midfielder-turned left-back knows dropping points could have an adverse effect on their title hopes.

He does admit, though, that with so many games in such a short period of time, it is how you react that could ultimately help or hinder your chances of success.

Speaking to the club's official website, he said: "It can work both ways – if you’ve lost, you’ve got a chance to put it right quickly, and if you’re coming off a win then you want to keep that momentum going so hopefully we can keep doing that. 

"Christmas is such a critical time."

He added: "You look at the league table now and you look at it the first week in January [then] it’ll look completely different with a few different results, so we have to make sure we’re on our game and keep this momentum going. 

"It’s such a critical time of the year every year, it’s so important. Hopefully, we get a few of the boys back as well who are injured, getting closer, and keep everyone fit. 

"The schedule we’ve got is pretty ridiculous – two games in less than two days, which is not easy."

Milner also expects luck to play its part, but feels confident Liverpool will give a good account of themselves.

He added: "You expect games thick and fast this time of year, but we have to touch wood there and hope we get a bit of luck with injuries on that because obviously it’s going to be a big hit, but we have to make sure we’re ready. 

"I think we’re arguably up there with the fittest squads in the league so if anyone can deal with that load, we can."