England axe annoys Downing

15 March 2008 12:21
Middlesbrough winger Stewart Downing has admitted to being bitterly disappointed at being left out of Fabio Capello's first England squad, for last month's friendly against Switzerland. The 23-year-old was named in an initial party for the Wembley encounter, but missed the cut when the final 23-man squad was named and could only look on as England won 2-1. Downing had been a regular in Steve McClaren's plans, but was left out with no explanation forthcoming from the Italian coach. Downing told Setanta Sports: "That was probably the disappointing thing, being left out. "Any excuse he had given me, I would have taken on the chin and moved on, but to be left out when I have been in the squad for two years with no explanation, it is hard to take, a little bit. "I have said before there's no point in moaning about it, the only thing I can do is keep playing well and make him not leave me out." Downing, who recently signed a new long-term contract at the Riverside, has been in excellent form in recent weeks for Boro and has seven goals to his name this season.

Source: ESA