Downing wary of Young Boys ahead of Europa League test

Liverpool midfielder Stewart Downing has insisted the club will not underestimate Young Boys ahead of their Europa League encounter given the scare they gave Tottenham two years ago.

The Swiss side enjoyed a 3-2 win over Harry Redknapp’s side – before succumbing to a 4-0 in the return leg – in the Champions League play-off round in 2010, and the winger has tipped the squad’s younger players to prevent the Reds falling similarly foul on Thursday night.

“We saw them at the start of the season before last against Spurs and it will be a similar sort of team; they’re very good at home and I’m sure they will be straight out of the blocks against us,” he told the club’s official website.

“We’ll be ready for that and that’s why it will be a big test for the young lads and why they will have to be right on the mettle from the word go.

“Obviously there are quite a few young lads here and it will be great experience for them. There are a couple of older lads who can help them along the way like me, Carra and Jose. It will be a good game to play in.

“They’ve been around the squad, they have travelled and they know what it’s all about.

“In terms of the game, I would say to them, ‘go out and enjoy it’. It’s a chance for them to play against some top players and to gain European experience.

“It’s a different type of game to the Premier League – one they will get used to and I’m sure it will be a great experience for them.”

As for himself, Downing has so far struggled to find a regular place in Brendan Rodgers’ first team in the Premier League, finding himself behind the likes of youngster Raheem Sterling up front, with a left-back berth more commonly offered.

And the former Aston Villa man is hoping a good showing in Switzerland will help push his claims for future involvement.

He added: “You want to play every game. We’ve not got off to a great start [in the league] but we’ve had some tough fixtures and if there are places up for grabs, now is our chance to stake a claim and it will be another tough test for us.

“I just want to do well every game and hopefully start tonight and be in contention for the weekend.”

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