Downing happy to be versatile

The England international was on Thursday night the Anfield club’s match-winner in their Europa League qualifying first-leg victory over FC Gomel in Belarus.

Downing played the full 90 minutes, operating on both the left and right wings, in what was Rodgers’ first competitive game in charge of Liverpool since succeeding Kenny Dalglish.

The £20million summer 2011 signing from Aston Villa has failed to justify his price tag since being signed by Dalglish.

But Downing was happy with his performance against Gomel and he will continue to be versatile in order to fit into Rodgers’ thinking.

“I’m not fussed, as long as I’m in the team,” naturally left-footed Downing told Liverpool’s official website with reference to playing on either the left or the right.

Competition for places

“That’s the main thing. The competition for places is hot here and wherever the manager sees me playing, I’m happy to play there.

“I got the goal from the right, but if he wants me to play on the left I’m happy to do that as well.”

Downing has also revealed how advice from Rodgers helped in his goal against Gomel, with the winger cutting in from the right before shooting left-footed into the back of the net.

“The ball fell to me and I thought about how the manager has been saying to come inside and get a shot off, so that’s what I was looking to do,” he said.

“Luckily for me it went in. I was happy with the strike.”

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