LIVER­POOL v UDI­NESE Europa League – Thurs­day, 8.05pm – Live on ITV4


JOSE EN­RIQUE has told his Reds ri­val Ste­wart Down­ing: “Bring it on!”

Liver­pool de­fender En­rique in­sists he’s not wor­ried that Bren­dan Rodgers wants to rein­vent Down­ing as a de­fender af­ter the fed-up An­field boss laid into both play­ers’ at­ti­tude and de­sire.

The Spa­niard is con­fi­dent of fend­ing off the fresh com­pe­ti­tion, in­sist­ing £10mil­lion Eng­land winger Down­ing will be the one “left-back” in the shad­ows in their per­sonal bat­tle for sur­vival.

En­rique (be­low) will play through the pain in a bid to save his Kop ca­reer af­ter the £6m de­fender was told to shape up or ship out by his new boss.

Rodgers is ready to use Down­ing at full-back in a bid to kick-start the mid­field flop’s ca­reer.

En­rique’s wel­comed the fresh com­pe­ti­tion.

He said: “It’s good for Ste­wart be­cause it’s an­other place he can play for and it’s good for the squad if we pick up in­juries.

“I en­joy the com­pe­ti­tion. I know when I’m fit I can play in this team so I’m not re­ally wor­ried about that. It’s good for the team when you have play­ers who can play in dif­fer­ent po­si­tions.”

For­mer New­cas­tle de­fender En­rique hasn’t been helped by a knee in­jury.

But af­ter in­jec­tions he hopes will clear up the prob­lem, the 26-year-old is out to show he has the de­sire and de­ter­mi­na­tion to force his way back into the side.

He said: “I don’t know quite what the prob­lem is, but I’ve been play­ing with a lot of pain. “I had an in­jec­tion in my knee so hope­fully that will set­tle it down and al­low me to find my form be­cause it is dif­fi­cult play­ing with pain.

“It’s some­thing be­hind my knee and I’ve had to be very care­ful with it. I’ve been try­ing to play with it but it is not 100 per cent.

“The in­jec­tion will hope­fully sort it out.

“With a new man­ager at the club you want to be at your best and I want to get back as soon as pos­si­ble.”

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