sport

Milner: We can do well

James Milner is hoping that England’s mix of ‘energy, youth and experience’ will help the team to enjoy a positive World Cup in Brazil.

England face Italy in their opening game in Manaus on Saturday night before also tackling Uruguay and Costa Rica in Group D.

Roy Hodgson's side are third favourites to progress to the knockout stages, behind Italy and Uruguay, but Milner is feeling positive.

The midfielder helped Manchester City to win the Premier League title, along with goalkeeper Joe Hart, and there are several players in the squad who enjoyed successful seasons at club level.

"The first game is always important, we need a good result there," said Milner, speaking at a Vauxhall-sponsored England fans' forum. "It's out in the rainforest and it's going to be pretty warm.

"With the team we've got, a lot of the lads are in good form and they've had really good seasons. Hopefully they can feed off that energy now.

"As a group going forward we've got great experience, a lot of youth. It's a really good mix.

"With that mix of energy, youth and experience, I'm sure we can do good things.

"We have a tough group but with the squad we've got I'm sure we'll do well. Yes, it's tough, but teams are at the World Cup because they're the best at the world."

The 28-year-old was part of the England squad at the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012, and also played a role in City's successful title run-in last month.

He added: "I've been to a World Cup and the Euros in the past and that experience will help.

"You always want to play as much as you can and contribute to the team. To play in those three big games at the end of the season for City, helping get those results, was great."