Craig Bellamy
Liverpool\'s Bellamy celebrates his goal against Aston Villa during their English Premier League match in Birmingham. REUTERS

Stewart Downing has backed Liverpool to pick up maximum points over the festive season and revealed he was not put off by the abuse he received from Aston Villa fans at the weekend.

Downing impressed as he helped the Reds to a comfortable 2-0 victory on his first return to Villa Park since leaving for Anfield in the summer.

The England international forced through an £18m move to Liverpool in July after handing in a transfer request and acknowledged he was bound to receive some criticism from the home support upon his return to the Midlands.

"I knew I would get booed and get some stick but that wasn't a problem for me," Downing told the Liverpool Echo. I was just focused on ensuring we [Liverpool] got a result and I think they [Aston Villa] gave up after about 50 or 60 minutes and turned on their own team.

"We were by far the better team. I think it proved a point in terms of showing why I wanted to come to Liverpool. It wasn't to do with money; I've joined a top team. Just look at the players we've got on the bench who can't get a game that shows how strong the squad is.

"This was the right move for me at the right time. I enjoyed my time at Villa, it's a great club with great people, but you move on in football, that's the way it is. It wasn't about me coming back, it was about the team winning and this was one of the places we needed to come to get three points."

Downing inspired Liverpool to their fifth away league win of the season as Craig Bellamy and Martin Skrtel scored one apiece in the space of four first-half minutes.

The 27-year-old winger squandered an early chance to prompt a cacophony of boos from the home faithful. However, the Villa supporters were soon hushed when Downing's corner was turned into the net after Jonjo Shelvey's back heel.

"We've got a good squad with a lot of people fighting for places," Downing added. "It's a headache for the manager but that's what you want. Everyone is going to be needed; it's a big period in the season for us.

"We've got some tough games but they are winnable and hopefully we will pick up maximum points."