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Liverpool boss Rodgers: Downing deserves Kop adulation

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers was pleased for matchwinner Stewart Downing after their 1-0 win over Europa League opponents Anzhi.

Rodgers urged the 28-year-old England international, who has struggled to make an impact since joining Liverpool in 2011, to go and soak up the applause of the home crowd.

Rodgers said: "It has been difficult for Stewart since he has been here, and it was just something to help his confidence.

"I think the Kop recognised that it was a wonderful goal at the end and if you can get a round of applause from them, that would mean a lot to anyone - a player, manager, coach, whatever.

"You saw how they reacted accordingly. They gave him a great round of applause and that will hopefully do him good going forward.

"His commitment tonight was excellent. He had to play in a different position in the second half, but he has got the quality to do that."

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