Liverpool winger: Rodgers suggested I look for another club

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Stewart Downing has revealed that he spoke to Brendan Rodgers during his spell outside of the Liverpool first-team, and the Reds boss suggested he look for another club in his pursuit of regular football.

The England winger, however, says he was determined not to be sold in the January transfer window, and feels his Liverpool fortunes have recently been transformed - something the manager agrees with.

Downing has been much maligned since his £20 million transfer from Aston Villa to Liverpool in the summer of 2011; failing to provide the Anfield club with the cut and thrust they required when he signed.

Following the departure of Kenny Dalglish last year, Downing was presented with the opportunity for a fresh start at Liverpool, but soon became frustrated when he could not force his way into the plans of the new boss.

Downing says he spoke candidly to Rodgers about his situation at Liverpool, and the former Swansea man informed his England international that a transfer away from Merseyside may do him good.

But Downing, 28, is glad he decided to focus on making something out of his Liverpool career - and is thankful to Rodgers for giving him a second chance.

"It was very open," Downing said, as reported by ITV Sport. "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."

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