Stewart Downing says he's feeling the benefits of his summer transfer to Liverpool, a move that has seen him produce form that saw him start for England against Bulgaria last week.

The winger has shown the sort of form during his short time at Anfield that saw him become a linchpin at Aston Villa.

The 27-year-old had been on the peripheries of the England side, but earned a start under Fabio Capello, and Downing attributes his international progression to his club form.

“I feel that I am an England player and my aim always must be to start games at this level,” said the winger.

“I have joined a terrific club.

“I am really enjoying myself at Liverpool and playing under a great manager like Kenny Dalglish can only help me get even better.

“It's been a good start to the season – both with Liverpool and now England.


“There is a good mixture of youth and experience in this England side and the signs are good for the future after what we did in Bulgaria.”

Downing will be hoping to keep his place in the first team, while teammate Andy Carroll will also be craving for an opportunity after failing to get on in Sofia.

The 21-year-old is yet to net for Liverpool this season, and manager Fabio Capello believes the forward needs more games.

"Andy Carroll needs to find good form," he said. "In Bulgaria, I decided the first XI from players who I felt were in the best form.

"Andy didn't play with last game with Liverpool. He is not at the top of his game. But he is big. He needs to play games."

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