Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 September 2014

Liverpool veteran Carragher relishing the big cup occasion

Final chapter: Jamie Carragher is gunning for glory tomorrow

Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher intends to enjoy tomorrow's FA Cup final as he admits he does not know how many big matches are left in his career.

The 34-year-old, who has made 696 appearances for the Reds, has lost his regular place in the starting line-up this season due to the form of Martin Skrtel and Daniel Agger.

Despite initially finding it hard to accept, he has come to terms with the fact opportunities are becoming increasingly limited late in his career.

Which is why he is determined to enjoy another visit to Wembley, where they face Chelsea, whatever his involvement.

“Realistically there is not much time left for me. You always have that fear it might be your last final,” said the centre-back.

“When you get to the stage of my career you always think 'Will I ever get a chance to play in this kind of game again?' From a personal point of view, because of my age and situation, it probably does feel a little more important or special because I may not see many of these days again.

“It makes it even more important even though we've played plenty of these games before.”

Carragher was left out of the starting line-up for February's Carling Cup victory, although he played the last four minutes plus extra-time of the win over Cardiff after replacing Agger.

But, as you would expect from a Bootle-born player who came through the youth system, he knows the club must come first.

“I have got to the stage where if I play — great — if I don't then I understand it now because I've missed more games this season than I have before,” he added.

“I have got my head around it a bit more. I was on the bench in the last cup final and got on in the end.

“I don't think I have to do anything differently to the rest of my time with Liverpool — just train the way I train. If you play, great; if you don't, support the lads and respect the manager's decision.”

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