Downing won't 'spit the dummy'
Stewart Downing admits it would have been easy to "spit the dummy" after a testing start to his Liverpool career.
Last Updated: 23/02/12 6:50am
Stewart Downing admits it would have been easy to "spit the dummy" and look for excuses after a testing start to his Liverpool career.
However, the England international has knuckled down on the training ground and believes he has come through his rough patch.
The £20million signing from Aston Villa was the most expensive of Kenny Dalglish's seven summer arrivals but has found a regular place in the starting line-up difficult to come by.
But he insists there are no complaints from him and said: "The easy thing is to spit the dummy out and point out everything around that is going wrong."
"I have had some good games and some indifferent games and I have been on the bench sometimes when I have been used to playing every week.
"That has been a bit hard getting used to but I have adapted quite well, I think. But the only thing you can do is keep training well.
"If you are not training well you won't be picked - Kenny addressed that on day one.
"You have to train well if you are in the team or not: you have to be ready when called upon. Kenny sees everything. He watches training day in, day out.
"If you are not performing or you start spitting the dummy out you will not be playing so there is no point doing that."
Downing admits the level of criticism he has received in recent weeks came as no surprise as he fully understands the exacting standards which are required at Anfield.
"There is a lot more pressure here - but not as big as it has been. You are under the microscope every day, people are pointing but that is Liverpool, that is why you want to be here.
"You have got to blank that out. It is challenging every week, it pushes you on as a player - to play in finals."
Downing will be hoping for that opportunity on Sunday when Liverpool face Cardiff in the Carling Cup final.
The winger has been involved in two previous League Cup finals, watching from the bench as Middlesbrough beat Bolton and then playing in the defeat to Manchester United.
This summer Downing has international ambitions with England going to Euro 2012.
With the departure of Fabio Capello he knows a good finish to the season will help his chances with the new manager.
"I am sure every England player that has been involved over the year will be itching to do well now," he added.
"It is the back end of the season, the business end and there is a new manager coming in.
"It is a fresh start for every player so if you play well you will be on that plane to the Euros, but if you don't you won't be.
"That is a big incentive but I think the main thing is Liverpool. It would be nice to win a medal and two would be even better."