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Nov 3, 2008

Former Magpie Milner: Club needs stability

Aston Villa winger James Milner has warned his former club Newcastle they need more stability at St James' Park to get back on track.

Milner will return to Newcastle on Monday night for the first time since joining Villa in a £12million deal last August. The winger left behind a club in turmoil and his departure was a factor in Kevin Keegan's resignation.

Milner said: ''The problem with Newcastle is that there has been a lot of adverse off-the-field problems, which has not helped anyone at the club.

''That cannot be good for a team trying to win matches. There is a lot of quality up there, a lot of good players and a lot of good managers who have come in and gone out.

''But until they get some stability into the club there is always going to be problems. This is the most important thing. It has been the case for a long time. The last time they had stability was when Bobby Robson was in charge.

''He was there for a while and the success the club had was entirely down to Mr Robson. Until they retain the manager for a longer time the club will not get to where they want to be. We all know Newcastle is a massive club. They have great fans who have been waiting a long time for a trophy.

''All they need is for something to click and away they will go. I was disappointed as I wanted to be part of a successful Newcastle side. I went to Newcastle when Bobby Robson was there and he was sacked three or four games into the season and that was tough personally for me.

''Since then there have been a lot of managers and off-the-field problems.''

Milner believes Newcastle can get out of trouble this season - but only after they have played Villa.

He added: ''Newcastle had a good result against West Brom last week and hopefully they can keep going the same way - but not against Villa! Hopefully, they can sort it out and pick up their form and move up the table but only after our game against them.

''I don't know what kind of reaction I will get going back there. The fans know I gave 100% every time I stepped on to the pitch for Newcastle. Now I am going back as an Aston Villa player and looking for another win. But I would like to see Newcastle do well after they have played Villa.''

A win would see Villa move into third place and Milner is full of praise for the impact being made by manager Martin O'Neill.

Milner said: ''Martin O'Neill has done great things and the chairman has got it spot on. The set-up is fantastic. You look around the training ground and the team is great as Villa have that stability. There is a different atmosphere around the club from the last time I was here on loan.

''The club appears to be going forward at a rapid pace. I knew it was a massive club the first time I was here. Players are coming through like Gabby Agbonlahor, who has come on by leaps and bounds.

''If we can continue to improve we will achieve good things. You play your best football when you are happy and at this moment in time we are playing well.

''My confidence is high and I will continue to improve and become a better player from being with such a good club.''

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