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Milner describes what missing CL would mean to Liverpool

The Reds have spent only two weeks outside the top four since September, but Sunday’s goalless draw at home to Southampton threatened to undermine that until sixth-placed Arsenal did them a favour by beating fifth-spotted Manchester United.

That result at the Emirates Stadium meant Liverpool’s fate was back in their own hands, despite the chasing teams’ matches in hand, and two more wins will secure a return to the Champions League next season.

However, with a trip to West Ham, a team they have not beaten in their last five meetings, up next followed by hosting Middlesbrough at Anfield – where the Reds have taken two points from the last three matches – nothing is guaranteed.

Asked how being pipped at the post would feel, Milner, whose first penalty miss in more than seven years cost Liverpool victory against Saints, said: “Sick.

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“This is a team and a club that needs to be in the Champions League.

“We will be in Europe, but the Champions League is where everyone wants to play.

“Hopefully we will get a bit of luck and finish the job. We have made improvements this year and we know where we need to improve again.

“We have shown on any one day we can beat anyone, so if we could get in the Champions League we know we could be a match for anyone.

“We have got to do it consistently, but I don’t think we have been as up and down as last year.

“In the games we haven’t got the points we wanted, we have dominated, but we’ve dropped points where we shouldn’t have done.

“We do that job better and we are fighting for the title, never mind fighting to get into the top four.

“That is disappointing and we know it is an area we need to improve.

“We have got to win the last two and see where that takes us.”

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