Liverpool’s Stewart Downing: I need to be able to play anywhere
Liverpool's Stewart Downing is hoping his versatility will help him tie down a regular starting spot in Brendan Rodgers' first-team
Stewart Downing believes he has to be more versatile if the Liverpool midfielder wants to break into Brendan Rodgers’ first-team at Anfield.
The 28-year-old has been used sparingly since Rodgers replaced Kenny Dalglish as Reds boss in May and has started just one Premier League game this season.
The England international has been utilised at left-back by Rodgers in their Europa League campaign, and Downing recognises he must be able to play in a number of different positions if he wants to feature regularly.
“Hopefully a little cameo role against Arsenal will get me a start against Sunderland,” Downing told Liverpool’s website. “I just want to play, I want to do well and hopefully I can have a good season.
“I think for me it’s a case of being adaptable and playing anywhere. In the modern game, you have to be able to play in two or three positions. First and foremost, I’m an attacking player but if the manager needs me to help out at the back then I’m willing to do so.
“Playing left-back has been demanding. I was up and down the wing and it involved a lot of running but I thoroughly enjoyed it. As long as you are
involved in the game and get plenty of the ball, you tend to enjoy it more. If you get a result too, that helps.”
Downing also heaped praise on Raheem Sterling after the 17-year-old impressed against Arsenal and Manchester City in the Premier League.
“Credit where credit is due, he’s a good player,” added Downing. “He deserved his chance and he’s done well in two difficult games [against Manchester City and Arsenal].
“We weren’t great against Arsenal but I thought he was one of our stand-out players. He’s very mature for his age. He listens and he’s got a good future.
“I had good people around me who could help and Raheem’s certainly in good company here. There’s a good spirit amongst the lads.”