He said: "I feel under Fabio it is not all about names, it is about performances and basically, if you are not playing well for your club, you won't be picked.
"We have to do the business week in and week out and, if you are not doing that, there is always someone else to take your place. You have to be on your toes every week which is good."
Downing added: "I think the left-sided position with England is wide open. Joe (Cole) has been missing through injury but he is a quality player while Ashley Young has come in and done quite well. There is myself and Steven Gerrard has also played out there.
"I am hoping the manager keeps giving me my chance and I can show I am worth a place on the left but I am sure all the other lads think that as well."