Manchester City are focusing on pushing for the title rather than criticism, says midfielder James Milner

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Posted Tuesday, November 23, 2010 by

James Milner, the Manchester City midfielder, wants his team-mates to ignore the critics and concentrate on maintaining their Premier League title challenge.

Manchester City are focusing on pushing for the title rather than criticism, says midfielder James Milner
Getting better: James Milner feels Manchester City will continue to improve given time, after their influx of new signings during the summer

Sunday’s 4-1 victory at Fulham was perhaps the best performance by City so far this season and moved them to within three points of leaders Chelsea.

Yet that win came after an interview with Kolo Toure in a Sunday newspaper, in which he criticised his team-mates and said they should be docked wages for their lack of effort in certain games.

And while England international Milner admits that criticism is inevitable after Roberto Mancini spent £129 million on six new players this summer, he insists that City will get better.

“There is going to be a lot of talk, and there has been a lot said about us off the field,” said Milner, who moved from Aston Villa to Eastlands for £26 million in August.

“But on the pitch we just need to get on with our own business. We need to keep improving and it will take time, we know that.

“We have quality all the way through the team, and it is just about having time to gel. We just need to keep working as hard as we can on the training field and hopefully we will improve bit by bit.”

Milner admits that Chelsea’s poor form has given City a good chance of winning their first title since 1968.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side have lost three of their past four Premier League games, and Milner believes City can take advantage if they are consistent.

“There are a lot of slip-ups all over the league, which shows the quality right through the Premier League,” he said. “Chelsea are a top team but even they have blips. Everyone can beat everyone. All we can do is take care of our own business.

“It is one of those seasons. There are always going to be upsets, that is the nature of football, but in the Premier League especially as it’s very different to other leagues around the world. It’s very competitive and you have a tough game no matter who you play against.”

City centre-back Vincent Kompany believes his side have set the bar high with their performance at Craven Cottage.

“There is not one minute of this season that we want to play less good than we did against Fulham. If the team shows this mentality it is a good thing,” said the Belgian.

“The ambition of any team in the top six should be to compete with Chelsea and Manchester United. There is no reason to suggest why it would not be possible. But there is still a lot of work to be done.”

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