Downing needn't get down - Eck
Alex McLeish expects Stewart Downing to maintain the right attitude and professionalism if his hopes of a move to Liverpool fall through. Aston Villa have rejected bids of £12million and £15million from the Reds for Downing and McLeish wants the England international to remain at the midlands club. McLeish says he overcame failing to secure a move to Manchester United as a player and would expect the same response from Downing if he is still at Villa next season. He said: "I've spoken to Stewart, I've told him I don't want to sell him. "There's an obvious distraction there for him but he's been a credit to himself and applied himself in the right way and worked his socks off in training. I don't see a problem professionally. "Sir Alex Ferguson wanted to sign me for Manchester United when I was at Aberdeen and that wasn't possible in the end. "That was a big disappointment but I got my head down and worked and I don't doubt Stewart has the character to get through this is he stays at the club. "It's part of your growing up as a footballer." Villa will demand £19-20million if it becomes apparent they cannot retain Downing, who has two years remaining of his current contract. McLeish is optimistic of signing a new keeper to replace Brad Friedel in the near future with Shay Given expected to complete a £3.5 million move from Manchester City. He said: "We certainly need a keeper and we are making progress. We would like it to happen a bit quicker but we are moving forward."
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