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Liverpool boss Rodgers: I don't want Downing to leave

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers praised Stewart Downing after his performance in victory over Fulham.

Only last week Downing had admitted he may leave in the January transfer window after manager Rodgers said he could go.

Rodgers was quick to hail the 28-year-old tonight, however, and insisted he never wanted Downing to leave Anfield.

"Stewart's been brilliant, he's a real good guy. I want him to be a part of the group here but at his age, we talked at him playing regularly and if the opportunity had come for him to go then him and I would look at it," said the Northern Irishman.

"But the reaction from that conversation six or seven weeks ago has been outstanding.

"He's played a lot of games and today I thought he was brilliant.

"If he keeps playing like that then he'll be in the team so there's no need for him to leave to get a game.

"I always have wanted him to stay. it's not about me pushing him out the door, he's a quality player.

"When you arrive in the latter part of your twenties and you want to be playing regular and obviously he wasn't at the time."

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