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Omission angers Downing
29 Oct 2006 - 15:35:51
Middlesbrough winger Stewart Downing has hit out at Steve McClaren after losing his place in the England team.
Downing was dropped for the Euro 2008 qualifying defeat in Croatia after a poor display in the goalless draw against FYR Macedonia, but feels his former club manager made him a scapegoat for a disappointing team performance.
The 22-year-old told the News of the World: "I knew we were going to get criticism after the Macedonia game because we didn't win.
"But I thought it was a bit harsh when just two players were singled out - Wayne Rooney and myself.
"But it's a team game and for me Ledley King was the only player who stood out.
"That was why I was disappointed when I was left out for Croatia.
"I explained to the manager that I wasn't happy and that if I was to be dropped other players should be as well.
"I know I shouldn't worry about other players but it's all for one and one for all. If one's dropped then the rest should be.
"Steve said he was changing the system - but I'd already played in that system for Middlesbrough in Europe.
"He agreed and said 'I know you were effective during the UEFA Cup'.
"I told him I accepted his decision because he's the manager. In the end you have to get on with it and respect him.
"But at the end of the day I'm disappointed and I'll prove him wrong."