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WhoScored: Smalling, Blind impress for Man United

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By ESPN Staff

Downing fears boo boys could drive him out

England winger Stewart Downing fears he could be driven out of his his home-town club by his critics.

The 23-year-old Middlesbrough midfielder has revealed he has spoken to manager Gareth Southgate and intimated that he may have to consider leaving the Riverside Stadium.

Downing told the Northern Echo: 'I do remain committed and would love nothing more than to bring success to this club.

'But in the last couple of weeks, I have been to see the manager and I did express at one point I wanted to go.

'The manager has been good to me. Why let these people who get on your back get the better of you? They have done it before to me and I have come through it.

'They were cheering me after that, it's strange.

'The manager has backed me and I am close to the manager. When I spoke to him about it, he has tried to assure me that times will change. He doesn't want me to leave on that note.'

Downing, who was yesterday named in the England squad for the forthcoming games against Austria and Croatia, was one of several Boro men to be jeered during last weekend's 1-1 home draw with Tottenham.

Southgate launched a passionate defence of a man he played alongside as he emerged from the ranks during his press conference ahead of tomorrow's Barclays Premier League trip to Bolton.

Downing was reportedly a target for former Spurs boss Martin Jol, and has also been linked with Everton.