By ESPNSTAR.com staff
Rodgers had called for an improved performance from the player ahead of the Europa League game against Udinese and he duly delivered with an assist in the game.
But it appears that the former Aston Villa midfielder was not happy with the manner in which Rodgers publicly called on the player to prove his worth.
Under Rodgers, Downing has made only one start in the Premier League after having been a regular fixture under former manager Kenny Dalglish. With the rise of teenage wonderkid Raheem Sterling, Downing has had to struggle for first-team opportunities and he has only featured in matches in the Europa League and the Capital One Cup as part of second-string Liverpool sides.
Downing was frank in his comments to the Sun and called for a holistic evaluation of his performances by the Northern Irishman.
"I was upset and you'll have to ask the manager what he meant with that quote. I always try my best," he was quoted as saying by the British publication.
"Bravery is a lot of things. If you want tackling and running around bustling, that's not my game. But bravery is also taking the ball when you're losing and creating things. That's what I try to do.
"I'm disappointed. Yet if that's how the manager sees it, there's not a lot I can do about it.
"I just have to keep working hard and do what he tells me to do. I have to perform on the field and get my head down.
"I would have preferred if it was private but that's the way it is.
"We've had a few conversations and the only thing for me is to keep working hard and take my chance when I get it."
Liverpool host Stoke in the Premier League on Sunday but Downing will likely have to continue to play second-fiddle to Sterling once more.