Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard eyes win for Jamie Carragher in final Merseyside derby
Veteran centre-back will end his playing career later this month
Wednesday 01 May 2013
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard wants to give retiring team-mate Jamie Carragher a final Merseyside derby to remember this weekend.
The veteran centre-back will end his playing career later this month and turn his talents to television punditry.
Both he and Gerrard, Liverpool's Scouse heartbeat, have been involved in numerous games against their near-neighbours but this one will be particularly emotional.
Everton have not won at Anfield since 1999 and Gerrard does not want their rivals to end that streak in Carragher's last cross-city encounter.
"I think being a local lad we feel the passion in the city," said the England captain.
"Jamie will be playing at the weekend, he will be one of the first on the teamsheet and has been brilliant since he came back into the team.
"We're hoping to get a nice derby victory for Carra to remember because you will always remember your last derby."
Carragher will leave a huge hole when he retires, not only in the centre of defence but around the club itself, and Gerrard expects to feel that more than most.
"I'm going to miss him more than anyone. I'm close to Jamie on and off the pitch, " he told talkSPORT.
"It's an emotional time him packing it in but he is going on to Sky and I'm sure he'll do a fantastic job."
Liverpool head into the derby trailing sixth-placed Everton by five points with three matches remaining.
Defeat would ensure the Toffees finish higher in the table for the second successive season - something which has not happened since the Reds were promoted back to the top flight in 1962.
While manager Brendan Rodgers has made progress this season the team have been frustratingly inconsistent.
They demolished Newcastle 6-0 last weekend, having also beaten Swansea and Norwich 5-0, but they have also lost at home to strugglers Aston Villa and West Brom and were knocked out of the FA Cup by League One Oldham.
And despite the development under Rodgers former striker Ian Rush believes the Reds boss will ultimately have to be judged on the trophies he wins.
"Liverpool have high standards. That is what you must be judged by," the club's record goalscorer, who two European Cups, five league titles, three FA Cups and five league cups at Anfield, told Press Association Sport.
"Those standards were set by Bill Shankly in the 1970s and Bob Paisley took them on.
"It is a difficult level to attain but those are the standards.
"Why shouldn't that be the judgement? No-one is saying he has to get there straight away, that he immediately must start winning the Premier League or the Champions League.
"But that has to be the aim. The key is to maintain improvement. If you can do that every year eventually you will get there."
Rush, speaking at the launch of the McDonald's '10 Years of Teamwork' grassroots football report which reviewed what has been achieved at grassroots level in Wales in the last decade, added: "I do believe they are going the right way towards doing that and they are playing good football.
"Liverpool have done well and played some excellent football.
"They need to stick with Brendan Rodgers because we can see light at the end of the tunnel.
"We have tripped ourselves up a couple of times just when you think the corner has been turned.
"We expected to beat West Brom and Aston Villa at Anfield but it didn't happen.
"However, the football has been good and next year is going to be a big one.
"The players will all have an additional year's experience and if they can sign a couple more I believe the improvement will continue."
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