Downing hits back at Rodgers
London - Liverpool winger Stewart Downing has risked his Anfield future after launching a scathing attack on Reds boss Brendan Rodgers.
Rodgers warned Downing earlier this month that the England international had to "show more commitment to the cause" after enduring a miserable first year with Liverpool.
Downing, a £20m signing from Aston Villa during Kenny Dalglish's reign, has struggled to live up to his hefty transfer fee and Rodgers questioned whether he had the character to fight for his place after being left on the bench for much of this season.
The 28-year-old is furious Rodgers chose to go public with his views and, speaking ahead of Liverpool's home game against Stoke on Sunday, he made it clear he disagreed with his manager's assessment.
"I was upset and you'll have to ask the manager what he meant with that quote. I always try my best," he said in a number of national newspapers.
"Bravery is a lot of things. If you want tackling and running around bustling, that's not my game. But bravery is also taking the ball when you're losing and creating things. That's what I try to do.
"I'm disappointed. Yet if that's how the manager sees it, there's not a lot I can do about it.
"I just have to keep working hard and do what he tells me to do. I have to perform on the field and get my head down.
"I would have preferred if it was private, but that's the way it is.
"We've had a few conversations and the only thing for me is to keep working hard and take my chance when I get it."