Milner happy to win ugly

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Winning is all that matters to Liverpool midfielder James Milner after his side's scrappy opening victory.

Liverpool midfielder James Milner is happy for his team to continue winning ugly after an unconvincing start to the season.

Brendan Rodgers' men needed a stunning long-range strike from Philippe Coutinho to start their campaign with a 1-0 win at Stoke City on Sunday.

It was far from their most fluent display, but Milner said being able to leave the Britannia Stadium with three points was all that mattered.

"It is always about the results. If we played rubbish every game of the season and won every one of them then everybody would be happy with that," he said.

"Ultimately it is about getting that win whether it is a game where we can move the ball about or whether it is a game where it is a battle and we have to grind it out.

"You have to assess the situation and be able to adapt to those games and play in all these different formations and against different sides.

"A top team can adapt and win the games when things maybe aren't playing to your strengths."

Milner was full of praise for Coutinho after the Brazilian's 30-yard effort in the 86th minute gave Liverpool all three points.

The England international was on the receiving end of one of Coutinho's long-range strikes last season, when Manchester City suffered a 2-1 loss at Anfield on March 1.

"I think he is going to keep improving all the time. I saw him do that a few times last year, so it was nice to have him do that while I was on the field and on his side," Milner said.

"He has got that quality and we know we have quality all over the field."