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Liverpool's Downing hopes Gerrard sticks with England for World Cup

Liverpool winger Stewart Downing has backed Steven Gerrard for the England captaincy.

Stuart Pearce is in temporary charge and Downing has urged him to give the role to Gerrard.

He said: "Stevie's captained Liverpool for many years and would do that job well if picked for England.

"He's a big player for Liverpool and England, has a great influence on England and drives teams on so if he is given the captaincy then great."

Downing, man of the match when Liverpool won the Carling Cup yesterday, also hopes Gerrard does not choose to end his international career after Euro 2012.

The winger added: "He certainly has a lot to offer.

"I've not spoken to Steven about if he will retire after the tournament, but I'll be selfish and hope he stays on."

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