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Is a title challenge possible for Man Utd?

Manchester United
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Downing: I'll fight for Liverpool place

Stewart Downing has said he is disappointed at Brendan Rodgers' claim that he needs to show more "fight and commitment" to regain a place in the Liverpool side.

Downing, a big-money signing by Kenny Dalglish, expressed frustration but vowed to see out the three years remaining on his Liverpool contract.

He has become a fringe figure at Anfield after a much maligned first season at the club during which he failed to score a league goal.

Since Rodgers' arrival as manager, Downing has found himself behind Raheem Sterling, Fabio Borini and Suso in the race for the wide positions, and was switched to left-back for a Europa League game against Hearts.

Speaking to the Guardian, Rodgers recently said: "The big challenge for him now is that commitment to the cause - to fight - because he has the qualities.

"Talent alone is not enough. You have to work hard. You have to fight for the shirt. I will keep private the discussions Stewart and I have had, but he is under no illusion that he has to fight."

Downing, however, told the Liverpool Echo: "I was disappointed by what was said, but if that's the way the manager sees it I have to take it. That's fine. I'll fight, I'll fight every day.

"The only thing I can do is keep working hard and, when the chances come, make sure I take them. I'll fight for a place here. My aim is to get back in the team and prove the manager wrong."

The former Middlesbrough and Villa player said he "had not even considered" the possibility of leaving Anfield, adding: "I've still got three years left on my contract, and I intend to see that through.

"In fact I want to stay even longer than that. I love playing for Liverpool, and it's a great club with great fans. I don't want to leave, and I don't want to play for anyone else."

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