Downing expects Liverpool stay - gaffer has told me

Stewart Downing feels he's rescued his Liverpool career after appearing to be on the way out in the early months of manager Brendan Rodgers' reign.

Stewart Downing feels he's rescued his Liverpool career after appearing to be on the way out in the early months of manager Brendan Rodgers' reign.

Rodgers bluntly told the England international earlier this season that he had no future at the club and was free to leave – and then publicly accused him of not working hard enough.

“I just thought: ‘I don’t want to let him down.’ But after he said what he said to me, I did think that maybe mine is one of the names in the envelopes,” Downing told the Sunday Telegraph. “I think he was testing people, testing their characters, asking: ‘Can they respond to criticism? Can they deal with a setback?’

“You can have great ability but if you can’t deal with that, especially at a big club, then it won’t work. You have to be mentally strong at the top because you get that criticism all the time.”

Six months on and Downing reveals: “He wants me to stay, he’s told me that.

“He said I have been brilliant and that’s why he wants me to play every week. So, for me, that’s all put to bed now.”

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