Former Liverpool winger Stewart Downing has hit out at Brendan Rodgers, claiming the Reds boss is the ‘one manager’ he had problems with, according to the Daily Mail.
Downing played for one season under Rodgers during the 2012-13 campaign, having been signed previously by Kenny Dalglish for £20million.
The winger enjoyed an improved spell of form during the second half of that season, but has revealed he did not appreciate the Northern Irishman making a public criticism of him.
‘He (Rodgers) was the one manager I had problems with,’ said Downing. ‘I found it very difficult and the way it was handled – to come out in the papers and basically slag off your player by saying you don’t try – that was poor really.
‘If it’s a one-one-one conversation and he wants to grill me, I can take that. But when it’s open like that; I don’t understand why some managers do it. You can lose the player completely. Did he do it as a gee-up? Maybe, but I didn’t appreciate it. I got my head down, worked hard and got back in the team. I’ve always worked hard, probably because of the way I’ve been brought up. My dad would always remind me that football’s a short career and that you need to make the best of it.
‘That’s why I found what happened at Liverpool difficult. That kind of thing can tarnish a player’s reputation. If fans read that you don’t try, it gives the wrong impression. I was finding it hard after the first season I’d had at Liverpool. When that came out, to say I was disappointed would be an understatement.’