Downing hopes for final place
After arguably his best performance since joining Liverpool, Stewart Downing wants to start in the Carling Cup final.
Last Updated: 20/02/12 9:49am
After arguably his best performance since joining Liverpool, Stewart Downing is optimistic he has done enough to start in the Carling Cup final.
The winger has been criticised for failing to meet expectations since his £20million move to Anfield from Aston Villa last summer.
But on Sunday, Downing was one of the reasons Brighton were blown away 6-1 in the FA Cup fifth round and he created Andy Carroll's goal after linking up with Jose Enrique.
The England international's thoughts will now turn to next Sunday's Carling Cup final against Cardiff at Wembley where he will be desperate to be in Kenny Dalglish's first XI.
Downing, who was an unused substitute when Middlesbrough won the 2004 League Cup, told Liverpool's official website of the win over Brighton: "It was a great game to play in, especially the second half, and it was nice to get a few goals in front of the Kop.
"The first half was a little bit tricky when they got the equaliser and made it hard for us, but the manager told us at half-time to keep doing what we were doing and the goals would come.
"I thought our second-half performance was really good.
"I really enjoyed it out there. Me and Jose could see we were getting a fair bit of space and the manager told us to try and exploit that space, and I thought on both sides we did well. That's where most of the goals came from.
"Competition for places is tough here. I'm sure it's great for the manager and it gives him a headache. We have got options all over the park, everyone wants to play in the starting XI, and it's good for the club."