Pellegrini happily put faith in Milner at key moments in the season, such as the away leg in Barcelona, and the second half at Liverpool when he turned the game on its head before the Scousers’ cruel late winner.
He also played an important starting role in the crunch games at Crystal Palace and Everton, and at home to Aston Villa, and was named as captain for the first time in the FA Cup tie against Blackburn.
That was heartening for the 28-year-old Yorkshireman, who said in the club's end-of-season DVD: “You always want to play as much as you can, contribute to the team.
“To play in those three big games, help get those results and be part of it, was really pleasing. It was massively important to know it was in our hands.
“To be part of them and to contribute was great.
“Being made skipper against Blackburn was great - it showed the trust the manager has in me. Vinny’s the captain but it’s important to have leaders in the dressing room, a lot of vocal players - and I think we have that.”
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