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James Milner reveals scathing quote from Graeme Souness which motivated him at Newcastle United

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James Milner admits he “loved” having the opportunity to prove Graeme Souness wrong after the former Newcastle United manager’s scathing criticism of him.

Seemingly Souness had identified Milner as a weak link in his Magpies squad during the 2005/06 campaign, with predecessor Bobby Robson having signed the winger shortly before he was sacked, and sent the former Leeds United youngster out on loan to Aston Villa.

Infamously, in an attempt to justify his decision to allow the former England international to leave St James’ Park, Souness claimed that “we’ll never win anything [at Newcastle] with a team of James Milners”.

Rather than sulk, Milner used that comment as motivation, the now-Liverpool midfielder, who makes his 500th Premier League appearance against Bournemouth for the Reds, admitting he was fuelled by a desire to “shut Souness up”.

“The 2005 FA Cup semi-final in Cardiff – we lost 4-1 to Manchester United, but the drive in was incredible,” Milner reflected when asked to provide his “favourite memory” from his time playing for Newcastle.

Asked if Souness’ comments ‘hurt’ him, Milner told FourFourTwo during a Q&A: “I think it was more like, ‘You don’t win anything with a team of James Milners’.

He made 28 European appearances for the Magpies, but cites his favourite moment playing for Newcastle as the 2005 FA Cup semi-final defeat to Manchester United.
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