Downing eyes top-four charge

Liverpool winger Stewart Downing believes the club are beginning to find their rhythm and retains hope of a top four finish.

Last Updated: 03/03/13 at 14:55 Post Comment

Downing found the target in the second minute against Wigan on Saturday with Luis Saurez netting a hat-trick to secure a 4-0 win at the DW Stadium.

Since taking over in the summer Brendan Rodgers has tried to ingrain a new way of playing into his side, but admits he will require a number of transfer windows to bring the best out of his methods.

But the ease with which £8.5m January signing Philippe Coutinho seamlessly fitted in on only his third appearance - providing assists for the first two goals - suggests Rodgers' plan is working.

The sequence of Liverpool's last six league victories since December 22 is 4-0, 3-0, 3-0, 5-0, 5-0, 4-0.

"I think it's coming together. We've had some good results of late," said Downing. "We're finishing teams off and defending ever so well.

"Pepe Reina made some great saves against Wigan and if we do our bit at the other end of the field, we've got a chance.

"It's all coming together. We've got 10 games to go and we've got to keep winning games."

However, Rodgers has played down Liverpool's hopes of Champions League qualification with his side currently in seventh spot.

"We are not thinking about that. All we are looking at this moment in time is the next game - that is what we spoke about in the last few days," said Rodgers.

"We will focus on finishing as high as we can and look to finish the season strongly."

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C

lassic management. Build them up and then knock them back. Raise expectations and then dampen them. Create a dynamic where by you demand the most from your team, but where the team are given room to manoeuvre unexpected or unwanted results. Classy work by Van Gaal, he really reminds me a lot of me. A smart cookie, make no doubt.

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Van Gaal: 'I struggle for first three months'

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e will be the England left back for ten years or more, and then you will have to thank MUFC for that. *smiles*

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Shaw: Criticism spot on

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urely because of that little diva moment he had last night, I don't want him coming to my club. DESTROYED ? Grow up and give something back to the club that helped put you up there on the world stage.

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