Dalglish offers Downing backing

Dalglish offers Downing backing

Published Jan. 21, 2012 7:15 a.m. ET

Downing, who joined the club in the summer in a £20million deal from Aston Villa, has failed to win over all Liverpool fans since his arrival on Merseyside.

The England international has yet to score or create a Premier League goal and he has come in for some criticism for failing to hit the heights.

However, Dalglish is confident Downing will come good

The Reds winger, who is set to line up against Bolton at the Reebok Stadium today, has yet to score or create a Premier League goal since his £20million move from Aston Villa.


However, Dalglish has no doubt that Downing's talent will shine through.

"Stewart is a fantastic footballer, an England international, who made a big move in the summer to come here," Dalglish said.

"This is a massive club, with all due respect to the others he's been at. It's going to take a little bit of time to get used to his surroundings, but we don't have any change of opinion on him as a player from what it was before.

"He's got more crosses in than anyone else, according to the stats. Our job as a team is to get in there and put them in the back of the net."

Dalglish conceded Downing is better than he imagined he was admiting the 27-year-old has taken him by surprise.

For me, he's better than I thought he was going to be," added Dalglish.

"I don't think it's been too comfortable for him because we've played him in two or three different positions. Maybe we have to look at ourselves and say we have to be fair as well.

"But he's better than I thought he was. He's a better footballer - he's also quicker than I thought."