Talent on Liverpool bench motivates Downing

Stewart Downing knows he cannot afford to let complacency to creep in, as he only needs to look at the Liverpool bench to realise how important it is to maintain form.

Stewart Downing knows he cannot afford to let complacency to creep in, as he only needs to look at the Liverpool bench to realise how important it is to maintain form.

He told the official Liverpool FC magazine: "All I need to do is look at the bench to remind myself that I have to keep performing well.

"There is real competition for places, especially since Daniel (Sturridge) and (Philippe) Coutinho arrived in January. You have lads like Raheem (Sterling) waiting for a chance too. It means if you're not playing well you'll be hauled off.

"I'm sure the manager will also be looking to add to the squad in the summer.

"He's told me I'm part of his long-term plans, which was great to hear. Now I have to ensure that continues to be the case."

Downing admits it took him a while to settle on Merseyside, following a switch from Aston Villa in 2011.

He added: "Some lads hit it off straight away at a new club, others don't. In my case it took longer than I obviously wanted.

"I'm glad it's clicked now and I have the chance to continue playing for a big club. I've always believed I could do well here.

"I've done that over the last few months and want to continue doing so for the remainder of the season and the years to come."

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