Downing vows to excel
Stewart Downing is hopeful that Aston Villa will see the best of him following a tough campaign last term.
By Razwan Mirza
Last Updated: 12/07/10 2:31pm
Aston Villa winger Stewart Downing has vowed to produce his best football for the club following a largely disappointing campaign last season.
The England international is looking forward to the new Premier League season as he prepares for his first full campaign with the West Midlands club.
Martin O'Neill recruited the 25-year-old during last summer's transfer window for £12million while he was still recuperating from a broken foot.
The left-sided player eventually entered the fray in mid-November and went on to earn mixed reviews from his debut season, but now Downing is relishing a full pre-season programme.
He told the Express & Star: "It is just good to get the start of a good pre-season under my belt because last season I missed six or seven months, including the whole of pre-season. It is nice being among the lads from the off.
"I think it helps to get a pre-season under your belt because if you miss a lot of the football and the running, you are playing catch-up, which I was when I came back.
"The pleasing thing was I came through the injury and didn't get any setbacks. This time I have joined the lads from day one, I'm feeling quite fit and started quite well with the running.
"Hopefully I'll have a good pre-season, get a few games under my belt and hopefully you will see the best of me."