Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers tells Stewart Downing to show commitment
Stewart Downing must 'fight for the shirt' or accept that his Liverpool days are numbered, Brendan Rodgers says.
Last Updated: 29/09/12 11:19am
The England winger has started just one Premier League game under Rodgers, who fast-tracked teenager Raheem Sterling to the side on his arrival at Anfield in the summer.
And the manager wants to see evidence of Downing's commitment before he considers using the £20m signing more regularly.
He said: "Stewart is a good guy and a good lad who came here for an awful lot of money. It hasn't quite worked out for him as he would want it.
"The big challenge for him now is that commitment to the cause to fight, because he has the qualities.
"He has a wonderful left foot but what is important is that it is more than
talent. Talent alone is not enough. You have to work hard, you have to fight for the shirt.
"We have seen that in a number of the young players and if you don't do that then longer-term you won't be here. It is as simple as that really."
Left-back Jose Enrique is in the same boat as Downing and Rodgers said: "What is important is that you have good communication. I don't waste my time waiting until January to tell both players what I know now."