Downing: Liverpool's season can still be a success

The former Middlesbrough and Aston Villa wide man thinks the Carling Cup winners can still qualify for the Champions League and win the FA Cup
Liverpool midfielder Stewart Downing believes his side are still on course for a successful season and wants critics to lay off the team.

Following their 1-0 defeat at Sunderland yesterday, the Reds lie 10 points off a Champions League spot, but have won the Carling Cup and are in the FA Cup quarter-finals.

In the past 14 months, the Anfield club have spent more than £50million on Andy Carroll, Jordan Henderson and Downing, but have drawn criticism for their indifferent performances.

And the 27 year-old former Aston Villa man told the Daily Star: “Some people look at it and say, 'They are all internationals or they paid this fee for that player they should just come in and do a job’.

"In reality it doesn't happen like that. There are many examples from the past of a lot of foreign players coming in and struggling at first.

"Then all of a sudden, they have set the world alight and become top players. A few of the players have been getting used to Anfield, the lads around them and to Liverpool itself."

Since joining the club from in the summer for £20million, Downing has featured in all but one of Liverpool’s league games, but as yet has no goals and no assists to his name.

But the former Middlesbrough star is looking beyond his own form, insisting that adding the FA Cup to their list of achievements would make for a successful campaign.

He added: "If we get to another final and manage to finish in the top four it will have been a very good season for the club considering the additions we had in the summer."

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