Downing: I don't want to leave

Stewart Downing admits he does not want to leave Liverpool after being given "a kick up the backside" by Brendan Rodgers.

Last Updated: 24/12/12 at 08:07 Post Comment

Latest Articles

Transfer news: Blackpool boss Jose Riga admits he needs more players

1 comments

Blackpool manager Jose Riga is aware that he needs 'more players' if Blackpool are to steer a course to safety.

Transfer news: Stuart Pearce quiet on Nottingham Forest loan targets

Post comment

Stuart Pearce has refused to divulge the identity of those he has lined up as loan targets for Nottingham Forest.

All Articles

Stewart Downing: Scored in Liverpool'

Stewart Downing: Scored in Liverpool'

Liverpool winger Stewart Downing admits manager Brendan Rodgers telling him he could leave provided a "kick up the backside".

Downing insists he never wanted to move on but the message from the Northern Irishman meant he had to start seriously considering he may not have a future at Anfield.

Downing was left confused and surprised by his continued absence from the first team - hinting that the decision had not been made on football grounds.

"I wanted to stay, I didn't want to leave but it was out of my hands," said the 28-year-old.

"I was out of the team and frustrated and I said if something big came up I'd look at it.

"We had that conversation and, to be honest, I thought I was on my way in January.

"I was a little bit surprised when he (Rodgers) said I could go.

"He came in and was pleased with me at the start and then all of a sudden things changed quickly and I could go.

"I don't know who makes that decision but one minute I was being told I was doing well and the next I was told I could go. It was a bit confusing.

"But it is a kick up the backside. I then had nothing to lose as I was going.

"If it was a gee-up for me then maybe it's worked because the performances are coming now."

Having started the first Barclays Premier League match of the season Downing did not make another league start until November 25.

He has now featured in the first-choice side in seven of the last eight in all competitions and put in arguably his best performance in the 4-0 win over Fulham with his first league goal and assist since joining the club in the summer of 2011.

"I've waited a long time for it (the goal) but the most important thing was the win," he said.

"I'm enjoying it because I'm playing some games and I'm looking to stay in the team, score some goals and hopefully do well.

"It seems to be coming together and I'm pleased because it has been hard work at times but you have to keep going, being strong and I got my reward and hopefully it continues in the new year.

"It's been good for the last couple of months and I am pleased it has come together because I've worked hard to get to a club like this and I don't want to leave in a hurry."

As Downing searched for improved, consistent performances, he was shunted around the line-up, playing left-back on occasions.

But the switches may actually have helped him because when restored to an attacking role, as he was against the Cottagers, he suddenly came alive again.

"My form has been up and down and so sometimes when you're left out there is not much you can really say but just perform when you get a chance," he added.

"I've had to do that at left-back at times and I'm not a natural left-back but I've tried my best when Jose Enrique has had an injury.

"The only thing footballers can do is play well and change the manager's mind."

Recent displays appear to have done that as Rodgers has now said if Downing maintains his form there is no chance of him leaving next month.

"The good thing is we have had open dialogue," said the winger.

"I speak to him if I have a problem and if he has something to say to me he can speak to me, so from that point it has been good.

"He has been straight with me and said if something comes up in January them we'd look at it but if he's saying I'm staying then it's a funny old game football.

"The only thing I can do is play well and make him keep me and pick me and that is all I am trying to do."

Downing's re-emergence as a creator and goalscorer took some of the limelight away from defender Martin Skrtel whose impressive volleying technique produced the eighth-minute opener against Fulham.

A brilliant reverse-pass from the winger allowed the charging Steven Gerrard to score the second before Downing's long-awaited first league goal arrived with Luis Suarez capping off the victory in added time.


Click here for completely free £10 bet with Sky Bet & £5 free every week


Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Footer 365

Jamie Carragher: Don't play Balotelli v Real Madrid

Jamie Carragher would drop Mario Balotelli for the Champions League clash with Real Madrid.

Champions League: Real Madrid's Gareth Bale ruled out of Liverpool clash

Gareth Bale has been left out of Real Madrid's squad to face Liverpool due to a muscle injury.

El Clasico: Gerard Pique insists Luis Suarez offers Barcelona something different

Gerard Pique says Luis Suarez is the "opposite" to his Barcelona team-mates - but insists that's what they need.

Mail Box

Is Van Gaal Just A Dutch Pardew?

A Mailbox of comparisons. Van Gaal is similar to Pardew, Wenger to Moyes, Van Persie to a spent force, and Pelle to a bloody gent. There's also plenty from last night...

Reimbursing Fans? How Patronising...

It's something of a return to form for the mailbox with mails on Southampton (Liverpool fans are cynical), the gorgeous Graziano Pelle, Arsenal, Spurs and more...

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