Stewart Downing admits Liverpool exit threat sparked recent revival

Winger has impressed recently

Liverpool winger Stewart Downing admits a difference of opinion with manager Brendan Rodgers over where his future lay sparked his revival in fortunes.

The England international was told a couple of months ago he could leave in the January transfer window if the right offer came in as he was not a regular under the Northern Irishman.

Downing, however, saw it differently and, helped by injuries and unavailability of other players, got a chance to earn a run in the team and his performances in the last six weeks have shown a marked improvement.

"It was very open," the 28-year-old said of his discussion with Rodgers. "I wasn't in the team or playing and he said to me maybe I could look elsewhere because I need to play at my age.

"I didn't totally agree but I understood where he was coming from.

"Obviously he needs players who are going to play and not be sat about, but I thought in the back of my mind if I get a chance I can prove myself to him.

"Luckily enough I did in the next week or so after that.

"[Our conversations] have been very open. If I'm doing well he will say so and if not, I'll be pulled and told what I need to do.

"It's the same for all the players. It's good for me and that's how I like it, to be told if it's right or wrong.

"At the moment it's all going well and he's pleased with me, so I have to keep it going.

"I said to him I'd love to stay and if I keep playing well, then hopefully it can continue into the seasons after.

"I've still got a few more years on my contract so I'd like to see it out if that can happen, and the only thing I can do is play well and he'll keep me in the team."

Downing believes his recent performances have been the most consistent of his 18 months at Anfield.

He also feels it helps the team have put in some positive displays which have boosted confidence all round.

"The first season was patchy, I was in and out, but this year since I came back into the side it's been consistently quite good," he told liverpoolfc.com.

"It's probably because the team is playing quite well that it has all come together.

"A good run of games has been good for me. I think I've proven in my career that if I play regularly I tend to give good and consistent performances.

"It was disappointing because I was in and out, in and out and it was becoming a bit frustrating at times, but the best thing is playing in a winning team and playing with good players helps.

"There's consistency in the whole team, which is helping my game as well.

"My aim every game is to make the manager not leave me out. The only way to do that is to perform well.

"I've basically had nothing to lose in games and I think that's helped me over the last few weeks and long may it continue."

Liverpool's pursuit of Inter Milan's Philippe Coutinho rests on whether the Italian side are prepared to accept what amounts to a final offer for the midfielder.

The Reds have made a bid approaching £8million for the Brazil international, who is keen on a move to Anfield despite previous comments suggesting he was happy in Italy.

However, Rodgers has no inclination to pay above his valuation for the 20-year-old and will not be persuaded otherwise, despite reports Southampton are interested.

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen
Satya Nadella: As Windows 10 is launched can he return Microsoft to its former glory?

Satya Nadella: The man to clean up for Windows?

While Microsoft's founders spend their billions, the once-invincible tech company's new boss is trying to save it
A Very British Coup, part two: New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel

A Very British Coup, part two

New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel
Philae lander data show comets could have brought 'building blocks of life' to Earth

Philae lander data show comets could have brought 'building blocks of life' to Earth

Icy dust layer holds organic compounds similar to those found in living organisms
What turns someone into a conspiracy theorist? Study to look at why some are more 'receptive' to such theories

What turns someone into a conspiracy theorist?

Study to look at why some are more 'receptive' to such theories
Chinese web dissenters using coded language to dodge censorship filters and vent frustration at government

Are you a 50-center?

Decoding the Chinese web dissenters
The Beatles film Help, released 50 years ago, signalled the birth of the 'metrosexual' man

Help signalled birth of 'metrosexual' man

The Beatles' moptop haircuts and dandified fashion introduced a new style for the modern Englishman, says Martin King
Hollywood's new diet: Has LA stolen New York's crown as the ultimate foodie trend-setter?

Hollywood's new diet trends

Has LA stolen New York's crown as the ultimate foodie trend-setter?
6 best recipe files

6 best recipe files

Get organised like a Bake Off champion and put all your show-stopping recipes in one place
Ashes 2015: Steven Finn goes from being unselectable to simply unplayable

Finn goes from being unselectable to simply unplayable

Middlesex bowler claims Ashes hat-trick of Clarke, Voges and Marsh
Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... again

I was once told that intelligence services declare their enemies dead to provoke them into popping up their heads and revealing their location, says Robert Fisk
Margaret Attwood on climate change: 'Time is running out for our fragile, Goldilocks planet'

Margaret Atwood on climate change

The author looks back on what she wrote about oil in 2009, and reflects on how the conversation has changed in a mere six years