Downing still hopes he can add to his 34 England caps, but he is not sure if he will under Roy Hodgson.
The Teessider was picked by Hodgson for Euro 2012 last summer, but he did not feature in the tournament.
"If I play well here it'll give him the chance to pick me, but whether he will - I'm not sure," he said.
"The way Roy plays I think could suit, I can defend and get forward and he likes wide players to defend. Maybe he was happy with me and there are simply so many good wide players that he couldn't fit me in - it would have been nice to know though.
"I felt a bit like a spare body. I've basically come away thinking 'I'm not really sure if he likes me or not'."