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Gerrard ready for FA Cup semi

Liverpool
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 By Mike Whalley

Downing vows to fight for place

Stewart Downing has vowed to fight for his Liverpool place despite West Ham United's interest in signing him.

Downing is determined to prove himself at Liverpool.
Downing is determined to prove himself at Liverpool.

The winger’s first-team future at Anfield is under the spotlight following the arrivals of Iago Aspas and Luis Alberto, both of whom can play in his position.

Hammers manager Sam Allardyce is considering Downing, 28, as an option as he shapes his squad for next season, although he has not yet made a bid.

Downing has had a difficult time at Liverpool since arriving from Aston Villa for £20 million in 2011, although his form improved over the second half of last season.

He was played out of position at left-back during the early stages of the campaign and his attitude was questioned publicly by manager Brendan Rodgers, but he fought back to regain a regular spot on the wing.

He is determined to hang on to that place, telling Liverpool’s official website: “At every club, you need at least two or three players in every position to keep people on their toes, but especially at a club like this.

“We’re fighting on many fronts – cup competitions and the league – so you have to be strong in every department. But competition brings the best out of players, and hopefully it will in me.

“My targets will be similar to when I got back into the team – enjoy it, work hard and play some good football like we did at the end of last season. If we play like that again as a team, we’ve got a real chance of success. I’ve just got to keep going.”

Meanwhile, Liverpool back-up striker Michael Ngoo has joined Championship side Yeovil on a season-long loan.

The 20-year-old, who has yet to make a first-team appearance for Liverpool since arriving from Southend in 2009, spent the second half of last season at Hearts.

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