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Downing defends new boys

Stewart Downing has stated that last summer's Liverpool signings do not deserve to be branded the scapegoats for the club's poor league performance.

Downing's £20m purchase from Aston Villa was part of the invest- ment intended to bring Champions League football.

Instead, Liverpool are in danger of dropping to ninth before their next Premier League game, a fact which has already cost Damien Comolli his job.

As Downing prepares to face Chelsea at Wembley, he says blaming the likes of himself, Jordan Henderson and Andy Carroll for the collective failure of the team is unfair.

"It's easy to look and think just because it's not gone well in the league it's the new players. But that happens at every club," said Downing.

"There are more than four or five players in a squad and we have all not done it, not just the new ones. It's as a team. Sometimes the new ones haven't played and we have lost games, it's just a building process, it takes time, it's not overnight.

"You're expected to come in and set the world alight, but sometimes it doesn't happen."

Irish Independent