Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Whizz Kid on a Roll

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Whizz Kid on a Roll

Article excerpt

Byline: Eric Paylor

Whizz kid Stewart Downing was today told to stick to his guns - and become the scourge of full-backs.

The 19-year-old Middlesbrough born winger has made a dramatic impact on the first team scene since Christmas.

Now first team coach Steve Harrison wants to see Downing develop his wing wizardry and try to establish himself in the Premiership.

Harrison admitted: "We've been very pleased with the rate of Stewart's progress over the past few months.

"He's come back from Sunderland and he's established himself in the squad.

"That's exactly what we wanted to see from him and now the rest is up to him.

"He's an old fashioned winger who likes to run at full-backs and that's what he has to continue to do.

"He has to stick to his guns, keep his head down and work hard to develop his game.

"We always knew he had great potential, Now, how far he goes in the game is up to him."

Harrison believes that the six weeks on loan at Sunderland is the best thing that could have happened to Downing.

He said: "Stewart needed to go away for a while to see if he could handle the situation.

"It gave him the chance to see things from a different perspective, and clearly he adapted well at Sunderland.

"It's a process, and he came back believing in what he could achieve here.

"You have to earn the right to break into the first team squad and Stewart has done that.

"He is still learning, we know that. It isn't always plain sailing for young players.

"But he has made a promising start and now he must concentrate on doing the things he does best."

Downing has played in all seven Boro games since his return from the Stadium of Light, including three appearances as substitute.

His man of the match performance against Fulham last week was a crowd pleaser for the Riverside fans. …

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