Liverpool Stewart Downing says he is "upset" and "disappointed" after manager Brendan Rodgers told the press the winger has to fight for the shirt.
The Reds have made an indifferent start to the season under their new boss and before today's game against Stoke at Anfield find themselves 14th in the Barclays Premier League table.
Rodgers revealed late last month he had spoken to Downing and claimed he had to "show more commitment to the cause".
However, those comments to the media have not sat well with the 28-year-old who claims he always gives his all.
"I was upset and you'll have to ask the manager what he meant with that quote. I always try my best," he said in a number of national newspapers.
"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."