Downing delighted with Hammers form

West Ham United midfielder Stewart Downing was instrumental in the 3-1 win over his former employers Liverpool at the Boleyn Ground on Saturday.

Downing has been in superb form so far this season, setting up the Hammers' first and third goals on Saturday as well as scoring in the win at Crystal Palace.

Among several players, the 30-year-old appears to be thriving under the new diamond manager Sam Allardyce has opted to play in midfield.

Speaking after the 3-1 victory, Downing said of his new role: "I played a similar role at Middlesbrough, more in a 4-4-1-1 type formation. It obviously helps in this formation where I have three lads behind me, I can play a bit further forward.

"I feel more involved playing in this new position. I'm enjoying it more, the manager wants me to be more involved. If you're under the cosh sometimes and you're on the wing you tend to do a lot of running without seeing the ball."

He continued: "For West Ham's third goal Downing played an inch perfect ball for Morgan Amalfitano to run onto and finish to seal the first home win of the season.

"I was delighted with the timing of the third goal. It was relief mainly, we were under pressure. They were attacking and attacking and I didn't want it to be a draw. It was a good time to get a goal and it made it pretty much certain we were going to win."

Downing identified the impressive impact new signings such as Enner Valencia and Diafra Sakho have had: "They're both really good signings and they played very well today, everyone did to be fair. Aaron Cresswell too, he's settled in very well.

"We've got a very strong squad. We've probably got players sitting on the sidelines thinking 'how am I going to get into this side?' Last year the team was picking itself, so it's a big improvement.

"Signing Alex Song is obviously a big thing for us, he was very good today especially as he hasn't played many games recently. Cheikhou played well too."

Speaking about the increased strength in depth, Downing believes the added competition for places will contribute to better team performances.

"Competition for places is definitely a good thing. Last year even if you weren't playing well you got into the team because we didn't have enough players. But now the manager will be having headaches picking the team, I'm sure he'll like that.

"We've got more options on the bench. You saw Morgan come off the bench, he's come here to play. We've got Kevin Nolan and Andy Carroll to come back still. The manager has said before, the team picks itself. If you're doing well you'll stay in the team and if not then you'll be out."