Liverpool in 'SOS' to former Reds Carroll and Downing
'Save Our Season' plea to former team-mates as Hammers duo prepare for crucial City clash
West Ham's Andy Carroll and Stewart Downing have been receiving text messages from their former Liverpool team-mates urging them to make an extra effort against Manchester City to help boost the Anfield club's faint title chances.
Carroll and Downing cost the Reds £55m between them and, although Liverpool recouped just over one third of that when transferring them to West Ham, anything they could do to defeat City on Sunday would more than pay back Liverpool supporters.
Both are believed to still be on good terms with their former team-mates and while West Ham also include Joe Cole in their ranks, the third former Liverpool player currently in the Hammers squad has been a bit-part figure under Sam Allardyce. Both Carroll and Downing have received a wave of support across social media from Liverpool supporters whose hopes of a first league title in 24 years took a severe dent when they blew a 3-0 lead against Crystal Palace on Monday night.
Liverpool legend Terry McDermott added his support when he tweeted a picture of himself alongside Carroll, who is holding a soft drink, with the message: "I told him I will buy him a pint instead of a diet coke next time if he gets the winner on Sunday."
Even if Liverpool come up short, manager Brendan Rodgers believes they will learn from the experience.
"To be successful you have to be able to lose," insisted the Northern Irishman. "If you look over the years the great winners have been teams and individuals who have lost and gone on to become champions again.
"We have made great strides this season and there is still another game to go. If anyone had told us in August we would be top going into the last week of the season we would've taken it.
"We've qualified for the Champions League, but there is an awful lot more we want to achieve."