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Downing cannot let form dip

Stewart Downing concedes that he only needs to look at the Liverpool bench to realise how important it is to maintain form.

Last Updated: 11/04/13 at 11:59 Post Comment

Stewart Downing: Feeling settled at Anfield and on top of his game

Stewart Downing: Feeling settled at Anfield and on top of his game

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The England winger struggled to find his feet earlier in the campaign, with it looking as though he was stumbling towards the Anfield exits at one stage.

He has, however, turned his season around and has become an integral part of Brendan Rodgers' plans.

Downing cannot afford to let complacency to creep in, though, with competition for places as fierce as ever - and likely to intensify further in the summer.

He told the official Liverpool FC magazine: "All I need to do is look at the bench to remind myself that I have to keep performing well.

"There is real competition for places, especially since Daniel (Sturridge) and (Philippe) Coutinho arrived in January. You have lads like Raheem (Sterling) waiting for a chance too. It means if you're not playing well you'll be hauled off.

"I'm sure the manager will also be looking to add to the squad in the summer.

"He's told me I'm part of his long-term plans, which was great to hear. Now I have to ensure that continues to be the case."

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Downing admits it took him a while to settle on Merseyside, following a switch from Aston Villa in 2011, but he is now looking to become a mainstay in the Liverpool side for many years to come.

He added: "Some lads hit it off straight away at a new club, others don't. In my case it took longer than I obviously wanted.

"I'm glad it's clicked now and I have the chance to continue playing for a big club. I've always believed I could do well here.

"I've done that over the last few months and want to continue doing so for the remainder of the season and the years to come."

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Readers' Comments

S

terling needs to be told though that upon entering the Arsenal squad he will re-enact the final scene from Highlander where he will be thrown around a warehouse by cartoon dragons and then be a mere mortal that will only ever spend three to four weeks a season playing football and the rest on the physio's bed. There can be only one.....player available at The Emirates.

rodger's gusset
Arsenal interest in Sterling

T

he game changed in our favour when Carrick came on. We were able to play further up the pitch due to having a player who can give and go with the ball and keep possession. Yet barkley made some runs and Townsend scored a good goal but carrick's inclusion and chiellini's withdrawal made the biggest difference to the flow of the game

ricky villa
Hodgson: Barkley was brilliant

N

o, you've not silenced anyone Andros, i'm afraid. We know you can score a great goal, and it's really handy to have your direct running and willingness to shoot on the bench. But until you can do the other things expected of a winger (beat the man, put a decent cross in, stay wide etc) then you can't expect more than a regular cameo. Wonderful goal though, what a hit! No wonder Buffon wanted the shirt.

badwolf
Townsend: I've silenced critics

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