Rodgers pleased to see Downing on the up

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Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers believes winger Stewart Downing has benefited from a sympathetic ear and an honest appraisal of the situation facing him at Anfield.

The England international produced arguably the best display of his 17-month Anfield career with his first Premier League goal for the club and first assist in the 4-0 dismantling of a woeful Fulham. Yet only last week the 28-year-old had revealed Rodgers had told him he could leave in January if he was not happy.

"I think if you communicate with him you hope you can see a reaction," said Rodgers. "You get some players like that. Some can manage themselves but you find with attacking players, because their job is to take people on, when things are not going quite right then they need that bit of support. But all they can do is work hard and you have to give massive credit to Stewart because he has reacted really well."

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Stewart Downing
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