Boro Star Has Major Incentive To Keep The Club Up!

Last updated : 25 April 2009 By Boro Mad
Stewart Downing: "Not only that, it's personal pride as well. I have got my England place to think of and there's a World Cup next year.

"I need to play well at all times and that was an incentive for me.

"I am playing in front of my friends, family and home-town people, so that's another one.

"You don't want to play poorly in front of them because things would be said.

"You just get on with it and hopefully we will get out of the situation we are in."

Downing is a veteran of Boro's 2004 Carling Cup success and their run to the UEFA Cup final two seasons later, and the current fight against relegation is difficult to take.
Southgate's side face a daunting trip to Arsenal on Sunday and then play leaders Manchester United at home, and with three points currently separating them from safety and just five games to go, time is fast running out.
Downing was a schoolboy the last time the club slipped into the Football League in 1997, and he remembers the pain only too well.
He said: "We were talking about this the other day. I hear people saying that was the best team or the the most entertaining team we have had, but we got relegated.
"Fair enough, we had a lot of good players at the time - Juninho, Emerson and people like that - but we got relegated, so I don't think that was good enough.
"They were good times, maybe, for entertaining football, but I would rather take stability in the Premier League year after year than entertainment and then going down.
"This season it is all about staying in the league and then next season we can hopefully build."