Liverpool winger Stewart Downing admits manager Brendan Rodgers telling him he could leave provided a "kick up the backside".
He 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.
The 28-year-old said: "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. If it was a gee-up for me then maybe it's worked because the performances are coming now."
Copyright (c) PA Sport 2012, All Rights Reserved.