The former Aston Villa man admits his side has played well in recent matches against Sunderland (1-0 loss) and Blackburn Rovers (1-1 draw) but says they have to be able to grind out results if they want to push for a top-four placing.
"As a team, we need to learn to win those games when you don't play so well," said Milner.
"We need to improve and keep moving forward as a team, and we'll get better and better as the season progresses.
"It might take time for us to play our best football, but hopefully we can get results while we're getting to that stage and keep moving forward step by step.
"Teams are winning games and Chelsea have started the season very strongly, so you can't afford to lose too much ground.
"We need to pick up results when not playing well, and once we get that bit of luck in front of goal I'm sure the goals will start flying in.
"The more we play together the better we will get at breaking teams down."