• Premier League

Carragher still intent on retirement

ESPN staff
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Jamie Carragher wants to retire at the top of his game © PA Photos
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Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher has insisted he will not turn back on his decision to retire at the end of the season, stating that he wishes to bow out on a high.

With the Reds facing Tottenham at Anfield this Sunday, Carragher could notch his 500th league appearance for Liverpool; only Ian Callaghan sits above the Bootle-born defender in the club's appearance list.

Carragher, 35, announced his decision to retire in February, shortly before reaching 150 European appearances for the club against Zenit St Petersburg; but the defender has admitted it is still the right time to bow out.

"I want to go out on a high, proving I can still perform at that level. I want to stay in the team for the rest of the season and help the club get as many wins as possible - that's my target. I can't think of a better way to go out," Carragher told the Liverpool Echo.

"I made my decision and nothing that's happened since has changed my mind about that.

"I've not had any second thoughts just because things are going well.

"People say because I'm playing I should carry on for another year. But in fact being back in the team only confirms for me that I've made the right decision," Carragher said.

The defender has admitted he could continue playing, but would not want to face the prospect of appearing from the bench.

"I could play on for another season but the fact is the club will be buying players in my position in the summer and I can't go back to being a substitute again."

Carragher, who made his full league debut against West Ham in 1997, confessed the potential appearance records had been on his mind since the start of the season.

"I've known for a while this would be my last season and I thought I might just miss out on them both," Carragher said.

"But I got to 150 European games against Zenit and I'm pleased to be on the verge of a 500th Premier League appearance with ten games still to go. The manager [Brendan Rogers] has helped me get there by bringing me on as a sub late on in some games.

"At the moment we're on a good run and we just need to concentrate on getting as much as we can over the last ten games."

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