Houghton backs Reds revival

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Former Liverpool midfielder Ray Houghton has been thoroughly impressed with the contribution of Reds midfielder Stewart Downing, and insists the Anfield club have the ability to achieve a top-four finish this year.

Following the England international's £20million move to Merseyside in the summer, Downing has been a virtual ever-present in Kenny Dalglish's new-look side, making 15 appearances for the Reds.

"I've been impressed with Stewart Downing's all-round ability," Houghton told talkSPORT. "He's got a lot more to his game than I thought he had.

"He's linked with well with Jose Enrique and Luis Suarez. It's a work in progress, [but] Downing's end product needs to be better.

"He's been in some fantastic positions and that final cross or shot has let him down a bit, and he needs to score more goals."

The disappointing result against Swansea at the weekend was Liverpool's third consecutive home draw, leaving the club sat in sixth place in the table, three points off of a UEFA Champions League spot.

But Houghton is confident that there is more to come from the Reds, and has backed them to finish the season on a high.

"I honestly think Liverpool aren't far away from putting a good run of results together consistently," he continued. "They'll be there or thereabouts for fourth place.

"People are always too quick to say Liverpool should be doing a bit better but the games that they've drawn they could have easily won.

"They weren't games that they were going to lose. In most of them they dominated the match and it's just the finishing that let them down."

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