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The England winger has struggled to justify the €23.5 million Kenny Dalglish paid for him in 2011 but has recently improved to win back his place under the current Anfield boss

Stewart Downing believes that as long as he continues his current form, it will be difficult for boss Brendan Rodgers to leave him out of his Liverpool starting XI.

Downing has attracted much criticism for his performances since making a £20 million [€23.5m] move from Aston Villa to Anfield in the summer of 2011, with youngster Raheem Sterling and then nominal full-back Jose Enrique chosen ahead of him in the wider midfield roles this season.

However, a recent up-turn in form has seen the 28-year-old win back his place in the starting XI, with the player stating he has used Rodgers' public criticism of him earlier this season as motivation to improve, particularly with the Reds strengthening once again in January.

"When the manager gave me a change again, it was probably the last one I was going to get as he was looking at bringing players in," Downing admitted to reporters.

"If I keep playing well, he can't leave me out. That's how I see it at the minute. Every time I play is a chance to prove him wrong. But if you don't perform, he will be disappointed and you won't play."

Rodgers did add Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho to his squad and Downing revealed that the possibility of further signings in the summer is spurring him on.

"If he does strengthen again in the summer, it will be good for the team. But every game I play, I have to do well as I know he is going to strengthen."

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