James Milner has insisted England will not use tiredness as an excuse if they fail to deliver at Euro 2012.
England suffered a second-round exit at the 2010 World Cup and then-manager Fabio Capello claimed the players were jaded after a long domestic season.
The current crop warmed up for this summer’s tournament with a 1-0 win over Norway, after which opposition defender Brede Hangeland suggested the Three Lions were running on empty. Milner feels fatigue is an excuse trotted out following defeats, suggesting all the teams at the tournament are in the same boat.
“If you’re doing well, then you don’t feel that tired,” Milner told the Manchester Evening News. “When you’re winning games, everything seems easy and you don’t feel the fatigue. Then you lose a game and you feel as tired as you’ve ever been. It’s a mental thing. It’s natural after playing so many games in a season.
“It’s going to take it out of you when you’re playing every three days and travelling. But every team and country in Europe is the same. They all play a lot of games.”
Milner was part of the squad that came home from the 2010 World Cup with criticism ringing in their ears. The versatile Manchester City man claims it is an experience he has looked to use for the future.
“It was my first World Cup and it was disappointing,” he said. “Then it’s the summer and it’s such a long time before you get back into football. You can’t even have a good training session to take your mind off things so it’s frustrating.
“I think it’s a good thing that you think about those and try and improve and learn from what’s happened in the past. Then hopefully at the next major tournament you get to, you can cut those mistakes out and improve.”