Downes was an animated figure on the touchline, and Tomkins took heart from his encouragement.
He told whufc.com: "You can see him on the sideline. He just wants us to do well. He has come in, done well for us and hopefully we can carry on the defensive focus like this.
"It livens you up when you see passion like that. It is good for us. That is what he brings. We are going to need that.
"He told us how we can play for each other, how we can cover each other. And, if it has to go in the stand, it has to go in the stand. That is important instead of taking any risks. Deal with things if you have to."