Liverpool's Stewart Downing: 'Next season will be a big challenge'

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Stewart Downing believes that Liverpool will be in good shape next season following a transitional period under manager Brendan Rodgers.

Liverpool winger Stewart Downing believes that the Reds will have to prove their worth next season following a "transitional time" at Anfield.

The North West outfit are eight points away from securing a place in Europe, but Downing has insisted that there was never any pressure on manager Brendan Rodgers to bring instant success to Merseyside.

"This season was always going to be a transition time, with new ideas and players," Downing told The Telegraph. "Next season is a big test for us. [Rodgers] has most of the players he wants and we have to crack on.

"We won't let the season peter out. The manager certainly won't let that happen. He has stressed that we keep going right to the end and see what happens."

The Reds' next game will see Rafael Benitez reunited with his former club as the Spaniard travels to Anfield with Chelsea this Sunday.

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