- Premier League
'Disappointed' Downing targets new Reds deal
Stewart Downing is "disappointed" with Brendan Rodgers' recent claim that he needs to show more "fight and commitment" to earn back his place in the Liverpool side, but has vowed to see out the remaining three years on his Liverpool contract.
Downing has become a fringe figure at Liverpool after a much maligned first season at the club during which he failed to score a league goal.
Since Rodgers' arrival as manager Downing has found himself behind Raheem Sterling, Fabio Borini and Suso for the wide positions this season, and he was even switched to left-back for a Europa League game with Hearts.
Rodgers recently said of Downing's situation in the Guardian: "The big challenge for him now is that commitment to the cause - to fight - because he has the qualities. Talent alone is not enough. You have to work hard. You have to fight for the shirt. I will keep private the discussions Stewart and I have had but he is under no illusion that he has to fight."
Downing has candidly expressed his disenchantment with Rodgers' assessment of him, but insists he will show the Liverpool boss he was wrong.
"I was disappointed by what was said but if that's the way the manager sees it I have to take it," Downing said in the Liverpool Echo. "That's fine. I'll fight, I'll fight every day.
"The only thing I can do is keep working hard and when the chances come make sure I take them. I'll fight for a place here. My aim is to get back in the team and prove the manager wrong."
Asked if he had thought about leaving Liverpool when the January transfer window arrives, Downing said: "I haven't even considered the idea of leaving here.
"I've still got three years left on my contract and I intend to see that through. In fact I want to stay even longer than that. I love playing for Liverpool and it's a great club with great fans. I don't want to leave and I don't want to play for anyone else."