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We must start to build momentum ahead of FA Cup semi-final, says Liverpool FC winger Stewart Downing

STEWART DOWNING has urged Liverpool to use their Premier League double-header over Easter to regain some momentum ahead of the Wembley showdown with Everton.

STEWART DOWNING has urged Liverpool to use their Premier League double-header over Easter to regain some momentum ahead of the Wembley showdown with Everton.

The Reds have slumped to eighth on the back of three successive defeats and the winger is keen to play his part in halting their current slide.

His former club Aston Villa are the visitors to Anfield on Saturday and Kenny Dalglish’s side then travel to Blackburn Rovers on Tuesday night before the focus turns to the FA Cup semi-final in the capital.

“We need to concentrate on our league form,” Downing said.

“We want to go into the semi-final on the back of some good results.

“We did it well before the Carling Cup final. We put that match to the back of our minds and had a great result against Brighton.

“Even though it’s Everton, it should be no different this time. Good results will help to build momentum like we did before. We want to take confidence into that game.

“These are winnable games but we have to go out there and do that because there have been a lot of winnable games we’ve lost out on this season.”

Downing will be hoping for a recall to the starting line up on Saturday after being dropped to the bench for last Sunday’s 2-0 defeat at Newcastle.

The £20million man has netted twice in Liverpool’s FA Cup run but is still waiting to notch his first Premier League goal for the club.

“I’m confident I’ll get more goals,” Downing said.

“I just need to keep getting into the right positions.

“I’ve been unlucky at times hitting the post and bar but I’ll keep going and hopefully I’ll get a few more before the end of the season.

“The most important thing for me is that the team plays well.”

Meanwhile, Dirk Kuyt intends to make a decision on his Anfield future at the end of the season.

The Dutchman, who only has a year left on his current deal, is attracting interest from a number of clubs including Feyenoord, Galatasaray and Fiorentina.

Kuyt has made no secret of the fact he has become frustrated with not being a regular starter this season with 15 of his 37 appearances coming off the bench.

His agent Rob Jansen said: “Feyenoord know that Dirk will join them once he returns to the Netherlands.

“But when? It’s impossible to answer that question.

“We are just waiting to see what happens at Liverpool now.”

As revealed in the ECHO back in February, Fabio Aurelio will leave Liverpool in the summer after his contract expires, while Maxi Rodriguez could also move on.

The Reds are set to beat Manchester City to the signature of Crewe teenager Dan Smith.

The 17-year-old midfielder would start off at the Academy in Kirkby.

 

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