Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

`I'm the Guy for the Job, Sven'

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

`I'm the Guy for the Job, Sven'

Article excerpt

Byline: By Ian Parkes

Stewart Downing has told Sven-GUran Eriksson he is the man to solve England's left-wing crisis as he sets his sights on World Cup glory next summer.

Downing has one cap to his name ( in February, when he played the final 29 minutes of a goalless draw with Holland at Villa Park after coming on for Shaun Wright-Phillips.

The 21-year-old Middlesbrough winger has been on the fringes since, and finds himself included in the Under-21 squad for the European Championship qualifiers against Wales and Germany next month.

That does not necessarily mean Downing is out of the frame for the World Cup qualifiers with Wales and Northern Ireland as injuries could see him drafted into the senior squad, which Eriksson will name tonight.

"The World Cup is coming up and you want to be in that squad, and that's the target I have set myself," said Downing.

"If I carry on doing what I was doing last season, then it may give Sven something to think about and he might give me a chance.

"If I play really well and I was eventually left out I would be really disappointed, but if my performances don't come up to scratch that would give me something to think about.

"But this is a massive year for me. I've sat down with the coaches and talked about things and I want to do what I did in the latter half of last year.

"I was pleased with my performance against Birmingham the other night, and I feel if I can keep playing like that I should get a chance."

Downing feels having Boro manager Steve McClaren as England assistant can further help his cause, although he knows he also has to live up to expectation after his performances of last season.

"The last time the manager here said I was playing well I got a chance for England," added Downing.

"So if I can keep playing well than maybe the manager might be able to do me a favour.

"But I appreciate there is more expectation this season. If I thought about it then it would affect me, so I realise if I carry on playing my normal game then that won't happen. …

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