Downing hopes to have made his mark
Liverpool winger Stewart Downing hopes he has given manager Brendan Rodgers "food for thought" ahead of this weekend's Merseyside derby after scoring the winner in the 1-0 Europa League victory over Anzhi Makhachkala on Thursday night.
Downing, who had been shifted from the wing to full-back for the second half, cut in from the left flank in the 53rd minute and fired an unstoppable shot into the net from outside the area.
It was just the fourth goal of what has been a generally frustrating period for the 28-year-old England international following his move from Aston Villa in 2011, but he told the Liverpool Echo: "It was satisfying to get the goal but the win was the most important thing. The only way you can prove yourself to the manager is out on the field. All I can do is score goals and try to play well."
He added: "I want to be playing in the Premier League and I'd love to play in the derby. Hopefully I've given the manager food for thought.
"We've got a big squad and the lads have done well recently so I'm not sure if the manager will change things.
"But I'm ready and waiting for a chance and when it comes I have to make sure I take it."
Downing took up the left-back position after Glen Johnson was substituted at the interval for Raheem Sterling.
"I enjoyed it at left-back - I've played there before," added Downing.
"Glen was struggling a bit at half-time and the manager didn't want to risk him. I went there no problem and that's where I got the goal from.
"I don't think I've scored many better than that. That was a good one and I was very happy with it."