Downing thanks Rodgers advice after Europa League strike

The 28-year-old netted the only goal of the game as the Reds were victorious on Thursday night, and expressed his desire to keep himself in the new manager's plans

Liverpool winger Stewart Downing has hailed the advice of new boss Brendan Rodgers after scoring in his side's 1-0 Europa League win over FC Gomel.

The 28-year-old's strike helped the Reds grab an away goal and a clean sheet against the Belarusian outfit ahead of the return leg at Anfield next week.

16/1 Liverpool are 16/1 to win the Europa League in 2012-13 with bet365

And Downing has revealed how words from the Reds' recently appointed manager were behind his match-winning goal.

"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 told the club's official website.

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

"It was a tough game, which is what we were expecting. They made it hard for us, but our patience paid off. We kept the ball, kept moving it and we got our reward with the goal.

"We were lucky at times, but our back four defended very well.

"They gave us a good test and fitness-wise it was good for us. A lot of the lads played their first 90 minutes, so it was a good test for us and probably something we needed with the season only two weeks away."

The former Middlesbrough wideman occupied both the left and right flanks throughout the game, but he insists he is happy to do a job anywhere in order to stay in the team.

"I'm not fussed, as long as I'm in the team," he added. "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."

The England international also went on to praise Liverpool's travelling support, who were in fine voice after travelling over 1,000 miles to watch their team.

He said: "It was brilliant to see them here. I was on about it with the lads - I can't believe how much support we get in the countries we go to.

"Credit to them for travelling all that way and we could hear them over their fans. I'm glad we got the victory for them."