Downing is upset about the way Rodgers treated him at Liverpool.
"I didn't get the feeling at the start that he wanted me, maybe because I was a Kenny (Dalglish) signing.
"I was under pressure already, the £20m signing, so I didn't need more in the press. My commitment has never been questioned by any manager. I said: 'if you've got something to say you should say it to my face.'
"I thought, 'he's not wanting me', but I worked hard, got in the team and we got on after that. At the end of the season he told me he wanted to stay, but then the club accepted an offer from West Ham for me.
"I spoke to Big Sam and he said 'obviously the manager wants you to go Stew, otherwise the team wouldn't have accepted the offer'. It would have helped if they'd done it in a better way.
"If he'd just said 'it's time for you to go, I want new players in,' it would have been ok. Brendan was a young manager learning his way, but I prefer a straight-talking, face-to-face conversation.
"That's why I liked playing for Kenny, Martin (O'Neill) and Big Sam, because they were straight-talking men. Just be honest with players."