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Downing out to change opinions

Image: Stewart Downing: Liverpool winger strikes the winning goal against FC Gomel

Stewart Downing is determined to dispel the myth he is a "confidence player" after an inconsistent first season at Liverpool.

England international aiming for Europa League success this term

Stewart Downing is determined to dispel the notion that he is a "confidence player" after his form divided opinion amongst Liverpool fans. Downing, 28, was an £18million arrival at Anfield last year after Kenny Dalglish lured him to the club from Aston Villa. From such a lavish acquisition, fans expected more than the two goals and no assists that he returned. Questions over his morale arose because there were occasions when it was claimed he was overwhelmed by his transfer fee, prompting fans to draw the conclusion he must be a confidence player.


"I seem to be labelled that a lot," he told the Liverpool Echo. "I was disappointed with how last season went but I'm not sure I'm a 'confidence' player. "I just like to be in the team and doing well. It's not nice when you are not getting results and we certainly took a lot of stick last season when it wasn't happening, especially with us new players coming in." Downing notched the goal which gave the Reds victory over FC Gomel in Brendan Rodgers' first competitive game in charge last week. And while some players may view the Europa League through disparaging eyes, Downing insists Rodgers has stressed the importance of winning games, no matter the competition.
He added: "It is the second tier of European competition but it's certainly one we still want to win. "Earlier on you don't know where you are going to be playing but the further on you get, when the Champions League teams drop in, then there are some good sides in the competition. "The manager has stressed from day one that whatever competition we are in, we go to win it. "So you can see his mentality, he wants to win every game, he is hungry and his players have got to be the same otherwise you don't get picked."

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