FA Cup: Win can top strange season - Stewart Downing

FA Cup final

  • Venue: Wembley Stadium
  • Date: Saturday, 5 May
  • Kick-off: 1715 BST

Coverage: Live text commentary from 12 on BBC Sport website, full match commentary on BBC Radio 5 live and BBC local radio

Stewart Downing says an FA Cup final victory over Chelsea would make up for Liverpool's disappointing Premier League campaign.

The winger is hoping to help the Reds lift a second trophy this season, after February's Carling Cup victory.

Ex-Aston Villa player Downing told BBC's Football Focus: "It has been a strange season but it could end up being my most successful one if we win.

"We have to go there and win because that makes it even more memorable."

The summer signing from Villa's only previous silverware came during Middlesbrough's League Cup final win over Bolton in 2004, where he was an unused substitute.

A top four finish and coveted place in the Champions League is the goal that most Premier League teams strive for, but Downing believes collecting cup winners' medals is a bigger mark of success.

FA Cup winners' league finishes

  • 2005-06: Liverpool - third
  • 2006-07: Chelsea - second
  • 2007-08: Portsmouth - eighth
  • 2008-09: Chelsea - third
  • 2009-10: Chelsea - first
  • 2010-11: Manchester City - third

"Some of our players have said they would take two medals over fourth place and I couldn't agree more," said the England international.

"We could finish in the top four and get knocked out of the Champions League in the first round, so you have nothing to show."

While Downing would be more than happy with two cup winners' medals, he accepts that Liverpool's Premier League form has been disappointing as they sit eighth in the table.

However, the 27-year-old summer signing from Villa does not believe much improvement is needed for Kenny Dalglish's side to be challenging for a Champions League berth once again.

"We are building a good team here," he added.

"Yes it has been disappointing at times but I think performance-wise no-one can fault us.

"I think the only thing people could have a pop at is our finishing because it has not been good enough and if it had we would probably have been in the top three in the league."