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Dalglish defends Liverpool winger Downing over current form

Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish has defended the form of summer signing Stewart Downing.

Dalglish reckons the only surprise about Downing's arrival has been a pleasant one for everyone apart from Jamie Carragher, when the defender has tried to shackle the 27-year-old in training.

He insisted: "Stewart is a fantastic footballer, an England international, who made a big move in the summer to come here.

"This is a massive club, with all due respect to the others he's been at. It's going to take a little bit of time to get used to the surroundings, which is only natural. But we don't have any change of opinion on him as a player from what it was before, other than he's better than I thought he was.

"He's a better footballer, he's quicker than I thought - and he's quicker than Carra thought as well! Stewart's got more crosses in than anyone else, according to the stats. That's part of his job - and the other part is to put them in somewhere where we are going to score goals from them. Ours as a team is to get in there and put them in the back of the net.

"He's better than I thought he was going to be. And I don't think it's been too comfortable either because we've played him in two or three different positions. Maybe we have to look at ourselves and say we have to be fair as well."

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