Johnson hails partnership with Downing on Liverpool’s right flank

The right-back believes that the understanding he shares with his team-mate on the wing can cause problems for opponents, and praised the way he has won his place back in the team

Liverpool right-back Glen Johnson is enjoying playing alongside winger Stewart Downing, and believes the pair make a formidable partnership on the flank.

The 28-year-old has started 10 of the last 11 games with Downing, and has been singing the praises of the former Middlesborough winger, insisting that much of his team-mate’s hard work goes unnoticed.

“He’s been brilliant, I’ve always enjoyed playing with Stewart,” Johnson told reporters. “I’ve been a big fan of his for many years. We play well together and cause other teams quite a lot of problems.

“Stewart has been fantastic; his work-rate, the way he gets at players and defences. A lot of the time in football, a lot of hard work can go unnoticed.”

Kenny Dalglish paid £20 million [€20.4m] for Downing in 2011, but the England international failed to live up to expectation at Anfield and was even publicly criticised by current boss Brendan Rodgers earlier this season.

The 28-year-old has won back his place in the Reds’ starting line-up following a recent turn-up in form, however, and Johnson could not be happier for his team-mate.

He added: “Stewart did knuckle down, put his neck on the line and went for it. It’s great to see that now he’s getting the rewards and credit he deserves.”

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