Replacing Jamie Carragher 'won't be easy' admits Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers

The defender played his final game yesterday

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The Independent Football

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers begins the task of finding a replacement for the retired Jamie Carragher knowing he will not find anyone who can match up to all the veteran centre-back's qualities.

Carragher bowed out in his 737th match for the Reds in yesterday's 1-0 win over QPR after Philippe Coutinho scored the only goal in the 23rd minute.

But the result was almost a sideshow as Carragher took centre-stage for one last time.

Rodgers needs to strengthen his defence in the summer but accepts it is pointless trying to find someone who can do the job Carragher did.

"I don't think there are many about like that, I've got to be honest," he said.

"What he's got at this football club is unique. You have to find different ways. All great players, their time comes to an end.

"We've seen it here through the years. You look at Ian Rush when he went away and they brought in John Barnes and Peter Beardsley - and they brought something else.

"We need to find a good one now to come in and support the group - and it certainly won't be easy."

Rodgers believes for all the tributes to Carragher's determination and no-nonsense defending there was much more to the player.

That was highlighted midway through the second half when he unleashed a first-time shot from 25 yards which beat goalkeeper Robert Green but cannoned back off the post.

"That was some strike. He's a player who, because of his leadership qualities and his warrior spirit, a lot of his technical qualities get overlooked," said Rodgers.

"Everyone talks about his blocking but he can pass. His weight of pass into the correct foot, his cushioned headers, his touch.

"You talk about British centre-halves not being able to play football but here's someone who's a world-class player who can defend and play.

"It would have been a lovely touch for that to go in."

Relegated QPR rarely looked like adding to their one win in 22 previous meetings and manager Harry Redknapp knows a significant rebuilding job lies ahead.

"We've been close in a lot of games but lacked quality to turn those close games around," he said.

"Whatever we did it would have been a massive job next year.

"We didn't have the quality to stay in the Premier League. We need to improve that in the summer with lads who want to work hard and do well for QPR."