Kop idol Carra not ready to hang up boots

Midweek Sport - - THURSDAY MARCH 8 - By TREVOR WIL­LIAMS

LIVER­POOL de­fender Jamie Car­ragher ad­mits los­ing his place in the start­ing line-up this sea­son has given him a new ap­pre­ci­a­tion of his ca­reer.

But the 34-year-old is not ready to give up on his play­ing days just yet as he is keen to add more win­ners’ medals to the Car­ling Cup the club lifted un­der man­ager Kenny Dal­glish last month.

Car­ragher lost his place due to the ex­cel­lent part­ner­ship of Martin Skr­tel and Daniel Ag­ger in cen­tral de­fence, but in­jury to the lat­ter has pro­vided an open­ing for the vice-cap­tain.

Last week­end’s de­feat to Arse­nal was only his sec­ond Premier League start of the year, hav­ing pre­vi­ously been re­stricted largely to cup com­pe­ti­tions.

“I can’t lie, it has been dif­fi­cult at times,” said Car­ragher.

“But I’ve said it loads of times in in­ter­views – you have to be re­spect­ful to the man­ager and the other play­ers.

“Pri­vately, at times, I’m frus­trated but that’s be­cause I’m a foot­baller – I want to play and I’m pas­sion­ate.

“I wouldn’t be here in the first place oth­er­wise.

“But I re­alise this hap­pens to ev­ery­one at a cer­tain age. It also re­minds me what I’ve done.

“I’ve played for Liver­pool’s first-team pretty much ev­ery week for 16 years.

“When you do it ev­ery week, it slips your mind a lit­tle, but when you play the odd game against Old­ham or Brighton at An­field in the cups and you leave the pitch know­ing you’ve won well and done all right your­self, it’s a great feel­ing.

“So it sinks in more when you are not play­ing.”

Des­per­ate

Car­ragher may have only a few years left at the top but he is keen to add to the tally of 11 tro­phies he has won at An­field – es­pe­cially af­ter hav­ing to wait six years for the lat­est one.

“There was a time when I thought we weren’t go­ing to get to an­other final,” he added.

“I want to win more be­fore the end of my ca­reer.

“That’s why I’m des­per­ate for the FA Cup and to play in Europe again.

“At the mo­ment we’re def­i­nitely in the Europa League and I know peo­ple knock it, but I’d love to reach the final of that com­pe­ti­tion.

“I’ve been to three in Europe so far. To have four in your ca­reer would be a fan­tas­tic achieve­ment.

“At the end of a ca­reer you are des­per­ate more than ever for medals, grab­bing as much as you can as you go.”

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