Downing happy with Reds fight

Stewart Downing insists he is happy to continue fighting for his place at Liverpool.

Last Updated: 13/01/13 at 13:58 Post Comment

Stewart Downing: Happy with first-team fight

Stewart Downing: Happy with first-team fight

The England winger had been told by Reds chief Brendan Rodgers late last year that he would be allowed to leave the club.

However, since then Downing has battled his way back into the first-team and has featured in virtually every game.

Downing, who is wanted by both Sunderland and hometown club Middlesbrough, admits he happy to battle for his place.

"My response had to be to play well," he told the Sunday Times.

"As my dad said, 'Prove to him, give him food for thought'. I don't know if it was a gee-up or what, he [Rodgers] certainly tests players - it was good, I appreciated the straightness, most players do.

"I wasn't playing, he was bringing in new players in my position and there was no point, at my age, beating round the bush.

"Since that conversation I've almost played every game, 11 out of 12. Nothing's been said. I don't know what the plan is but right at the moment I'm doing all right and in the team.

"He stressed I have to play high up the pitch and get into positions when I can create and score. That's my focus every game now, do well and make it hard for him to leave me out. I'm in control of the shirt at the minute, others have to get it."

Downing admits that he is in no hurry to leave Liverpool after earning his move to Anfield in 2011.

"You can get paid up and go somewhere else but I worked hard to get to Liverpool. Good lads, great club - we have a chance of the top four if we keep playing the way we are," he said.

"Things are coming together so if you leave all that, where do you go? Another top-four team? Brilliant, but if not you're basically playing for nothing and I want to win things."

Downing still hopes he can add to his 34 England caps, but he is not sure if he will under Roy Hodgson.

The Teessider was picked by Hodgson for Euro 2012 last summer, but he did not feature in the tournament.

"If I play well here it'll give him the chance to pick me, but whether he will - I'm not sure," he said.

"The way Roy plays I think could suit, I can defend and get forward and he likes wide players to defend. Maybe he was happy with me and there are simply so many good wide players that he couldn't fit me in - it would have been nice to know though.

"I felt a bit like a spare body. I've basically come away thinking 'I'm not really sure if he likes me or not'."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

really enjoyed this. Thanks F365 for another year of work avoidance - happy Christmas.

megabrow (cufc)
Our Person Of The Year: Alan Pardew

I

m no Sam Fan and this article sums him up beautifully. I always like to imagine that when he watches anything on TV and hears clapping, he stands up and aknowledges the applause, thinking its for him!

cozens
Football Managers On TV: Sam Allardyce

N

ah, Fergie is just having another pop at Rooney. He just wants to put him down whenever he gets a chance. Rooney is by far the best English player. Carrick is not far behind, mind. However, by elevating Carrick like that, Sir is having a dig at Wayne. Fergie is well-known for mind games like that. Good to see he's still feisty.

timbo
Van Gaal will thrive - Ferguson

Footer 365

Arsene Wenger admits Olivier Giroud deserved his red card for headbutting Nedum Onuoha

Arsene Wenger admits Olivier Giroud deserved his red card for headbutting Nedum Onuoha in Arsenal's 2-1 win over QPR.

Premier League: Alexis Sanchez and Tomas Rosicky give 10-man Arsenal 2-1 win over QPR

Alexis Sanchez and Tomas Rosicky gave Arsenal a 2-1 win over QPR despite Olivier Giroud's second-half sending off.

Premier League: Manchester City respond to Chelsea's victory by winning at West Brom

Manchester City won 3-1 at West Brom to reduce the gap on Chelsea at the top of the Premier League back to three points.

Mail Box

Van Gaal's Half-Term Report Card...

One Man United fan isn't happy with the rate the team is progressing under Louis van Gaal, while the mailbox also wishes Liverpool fans a Merry Mid-Table Christmas...

Hang On, Rafa's Success Is No Fluke...

The afternoon mailbox kicks the morning mailbox's arse after claims that Rafa Benitez has fluked his success. Plus, big talk about Liverpool's progress and lots more...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property