The opening fixture against Stoke always promised to be a grueling challenge and it definitely delivered on that promise. Vice-captain James Milner is happy with the manner in which the team pushed on for the win.

As we have been able to become used to the tie was put to bed with a beaut of a goal from Philippe Coutinho. However, Milner acknowledges that the football on show from the men from Merseyside was not up to scratch. That being said the fight that there is in the team pleased him tremendously.

The vice-captain said,“It is always about the results. It takes time for players to gel and there have been a lot of new arrivals, not just on the pitch but in the coaching staff, too.

“There is a lot of quality there, a lot of younger guys, so there are going to be games when we have ups and downs but that is football. It is going to be like that all season.

“Ultimately, it is about getting that win whether it is a game where we can move the ball about or whether it is a game where it is a battle and we have to grind it out.

“You have to assess the situation and be able to adapt and play in different formations against different sides. It is a top team that can adapt and win games when things maybe aren’t playing to your strengths.”

The Englishman added,“It was pleasing to keep a clean sheet, we looked really solid and as a team we did a good job. There are going to be games throughout the season where maybe you don’t play as well as you want.

“You can’t always play free-flowing football, sometimes it is a battle and you need that bit of brilliance.

“The pleasing thing is we were solid, kept a clean sheet and Stoke didn’t really cause us too much problems with balls into the box. We kept a good line.”

A very good article on how Milner is a great addition to the club not just due to his skills but his workrate and pressing can be found on This is Anfield’s site.