Allardyce backs Downing for England recall

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The midfielder has created more chances for team-mates then another other English player since the start of last season, and his West Ham boss feels his talent must be recognised

Sam Allardyce feels Stewart Downing has the quality to regain a place in the England squad after impressing in his new role for West Ham.

With one goal from his six league appearances, Downing has also provided some much-needed creativity in a midfield diamond, after moving in from the wing, during the absence of captain Kevin Nolan.

Downing has not featured for his national side since Euro 2012 qualifying, but Allardyce feels the 30-year-old is only being denied a place because of the set-up used by Roy Hodgson.

"Stewart's playing in a slightly different role here, I don't think Roy [Hodgson] plays with a man in the hole, or the diamond," Allardyce told reporters.

"Stewart certainly has the experience, he's handled the switch of position very well.

"He gets more possession in the position he's in, so that allows him to become more effective. Given his qualities, that's a good thing for us.

"He's certainly not past his best by any stretch of the imagination. You only get past your best when your legs can't take you where you want to go. But Stewart is one of our fittest players.

"He probably should score more goals than he does, but hopefully he'll do that in the new position he's in."

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