VIDEO: Downing's desire
By Nicholas Veevers
Tuesday, 31 May, 2011
Stewart Downing ready to re-establish himself on the international scene.
Become a fan of England on Facebook
Pre-order the England v Switzerland Match programme
Click here to watch video footage of the press conference.
Stewart Downing has spoken of his desire to put the frustration of the last few years behind him and become a permanent fixture in Fabio Capello’s England squad.
The Aston Villa midfielder has shown a strong return to form this season to reclaim his place in the Three Lions squad, after previously missing chunks of action with a series of niggling injuries during his time with former club Middlesbrough.
He’s impressed Capello with his displays at Villa Park this season though and he now admits that he is starting to re-build his international career too.
“It feels like that,” he said. “Obviously I’ve missed a few years with injury but I’ve really enjoyed the last couple of performances for England.
“I just want to put a run together now, enjoy my football and keep my place in the squad.”
Traditionally seen as a left-sided midfielder or winger in his younger years, Downing has been performing a more central role over the last 12 months and believes that this makes him a viable option for the squad.
“As a player, you have to be able to adapt to certain positions and I feel at home in the middle when I play for Aston Villa, where I’m happy to be involved,” he admitted.
“I think as a player you have to adapt and whether you’re out wide or in the middle, I am happy to play wherever.
“The 4-4-3 formation suits my game and I enjoyed the last game like that and I think it suits the team.”
Downing also feels Saturday’s game with Switzerland could mark a big step in England’s qualification hopes for the Finals in Poland and Ukraine next summer and says that the group are ready for the match.
“We have trained well today, the lads are confident and there's no sign of fatigue or switching off,” he added. “It's a big game for our country so we're ready. There is great competition for places in the squad, it’s good for the Manager to have more options and that’s a good sign for us.
“I know that we won out there 3-1, but it’s still going to be a difficult game at home depending on how they will come and play.
“We’re confident we can go and win the game, which will push us on.
“We need to win the game, it’s a big game for our country. It would give us a big step towards qualifying if we can win.”
A full interview with Stewart Downing features in the official England v Switzerland matchday programme. To pre-order click here...
Log on to TheFA.com throughout the week for the latest from the England camp. We'll also bring you coverage of the team Press Conferences on Wednesday at 1.30pm and Friday from around 12.30pm live on FATV. Click here fore more details