Liverpool ace speculates on one 'brutal' difference at Leeds United, vs 15 years ago

James Milner

James Milner suggests Leeds United's dressing room is a lot more forgiving now than it was when he was a youngster.

Former Leeds United midfielder James Milner has told Liverpool's official website he does not believe the current dressing room at Elland Road is as 'brutal' as it was when he was a young player.

Milner is now one of the experienced members of the Liverpool squad, and made the comments in relation to how he is helping to accommodate the promising young players breaking through for the Reds.

Jurgen Klopp selected unproven under-21 talents Kevin Stewart, Pedro Chirivella and Brad Smith for the fixture against West Ham in midweek, and Milner is happy to help out.

He said: "They've got their heads on their shoulders, their feet on the ground, and they know what they want to achieve.

"If they don't, that's where we step in and give them a kick up the rear but I don't see that being too much of a problem.

"That's where we come in because I was fortunate when I was coming through at Leeds, we had some great senior pros who kept us in line and it was probably a bit more of a brutal changing room then than it is now!"

Milner broke through at Leeds in 2002, while the team was still full of international stars like Rio Ferdinand and Mark Viduka.

Now it is very different at the Yorkshire side, who are stuck as mid-table also-rans once again in the Championship, remaining out of the top flight since their relegation from the Premier League in 2004, which saw Milner subsequently sold.

The more experienced players lack the gravitas to be 'brutal' as Milner puts it in terms of demanding respect from young players - indeed at the Whites now, the club's best players are arguably the teenage talents of Lewis Cook and Alex Mowatt.

What does come across is how Milner, 30, refers back to his spell at Leeds as a useful part of his career, and he is certainly no worse off for getting a few stern words from senior stars, aiming to help him follow the right path.

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