Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers, has run out of patience with £20 million winger Stewart Downing after a string of largely anonymous performances since his signing by Kenny Dalglish last year.
The former Aston Villa, Middlesborough and Sunderland man has really failed to make any sort of impact at Liverpool and Rodgers, unlike Dalglish, is unforgiving when it comes to poor displays by his players.
“Stewart is a good guy and a good lad who came here for an awful lot of money,” said Rodgers, who is likely to be without Borini at Norwich City on Saturday due to an ankle injury.
“It hasn’t quite worked out for him as he would want it. The big challenge for him now is that commitment to the cause to fight, because he has the qualities.
He has a wonderful left foot but what is important is that it is more than talent. Talent alone is not enough. You have to work hard, you have to fight for the shirt.
“We have seen that in a number of the young players and if you don’t do that then longer-term you won’t be here. It is as simple as that really.”
Rodgers added: “What is important is that you have good communication. I don’t waste my time waiting until January to tell both (Enriqué and Downing) what I know now. So they know in relation to the demands of what we want and certainly what it is going to take for us to succeed and for them to fit into the dynamics of the group.
“We will give them everything to help them to be better, but if they don’t want to show that self-motivation, and if you haven’t got that desire and hunger to succeed, then it can be very difficult for you.
The communication I will keep private between Stewart and I, but he is under no illusions that he has to fight.”