Downing determined to be fit for derby

Last updated : 16 November 2005 By Sarah Rudd
The 21-year-old sensation is aiming to be fit and back in the squad for Boro’s derby game against Newcastle on the 2nd January 2006.

The winger was not expected to have recovered from his knee injury until February at the earliest but feels he will be ready by the New Year.

The Teesside-born player admits his motivation to return early is his ambition of playing in next years World Cup.

"I want to be back for the game with Newcastle at the start of January so I will have longer to impress," said Downing.

"I haven't booked my holidays and I'd like to think I'll be spending next summer at the World Cup."