Downing angered by Rodgers’ criticisms

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Football News

Stewart Downing has hit back after Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers criticised him in the media last week.

The new Reds boss used an interview to challenge the £20million signing to show the necessary “fight” to get back into the first XI and suggested Downing needed to show more bravery – something the winger did not take too kindly to.

Downing fell quickly out of favour under Rodgers following the Anfield club’s opening day Premier League defeat to West Brom and has only been able to stake any claim for a starting berth from the bench, in the Europa League or the Capital One Cup.

However, the England international signed by Kenny Dalglish had no problem voicing his displeasure at his new manager’s words and his ideas about bravery.

"I was upset and you'll have to ask the manager what he meant with that quote, I always try my best,” he is quoted as saying by Sky Sports.

"Bravery is a lot of things. If you want tackling and running around bustling, that's not my game. But bravery is also taking the ball when you're losing and creating things. That's what I try to do.

"I'm disappointed but if that's how the manager sees it, there's not a lot I can do about it. I just have to keep working hard and do what he tells me to do.

"I would have preferred if it was private but that's the way it is. We've had a few conversations and the only thing for me is to keep working hard and take my chance when I get it.”

Downing did not do his chances of a place in the side against Stoke City on Sunday with a positive display against Udinese in the Europa League on Thursday.

Despite setting up the opener, the 28-year-old could not stop his side falling to a 3-2 defeat – Liverpool’s third straight loss at Anfield.

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