The Liverpool midfielder Stewart Downing has said that the fear of being axed from the Liverpool squad has made him perform better in recent weeks. The former Middlesbrough and Aston Villa winger arrived at the club in a £ 20 million deal from Aston Villa a few seasons ago.

However, he has been one of the spectacular disappointments in the Premier league in recent seasons, as he has not been able to exert any influence on the team whatsoever. This has even led to talk of him being sold in the January transfer window, as Brendan Rodgers does not see him as part of plans.

This has apparently woken up the midfielder, who performed exceptionally well in the match against Fulham. Liverpool’s 4-0 victory over Fulham helped them move into the top half of the table. Downing has said that he had to perform well because he had nothing to lose. The player was frozen out of the first team in the first few months of the campaign after not performing well during the pre-season tour. The England international was the best player for Liverpool in the victory over Fulham. He set up the goal for Steven Gerrard, while also creating numerous chances during the course of the match.

“After our conversation I just thought: ‘I have to go for it.’ I had nothing to lose. It looked as though I would be on my way in January so basically I had to play well to get a new club. It seems to be coming together now and I am pleased. It has been hard work at times but you have got to keep persevering, stay strong, and I got my reward against Fulham,” said Downing. The player has made nine appearances in all competitions this season and has scored one goal.