Merseyside derby so special for Carragher – Rodgers

The Liverpool boss praises the Reds legend, who is set to play against Everton for the last time before retiring at the end of the season after 16 years’ service to the club

Brendan Rodgers has heaped praise on Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher ahead of the Merseyside derby, which will be the last one for the Englishman ahead of his retirement at the end of the season.

The 35-year-old is set to play his 30th and final derby at Anfield on Sunday and the Northern Irishman is certain that the local boy will try his best to ensure that it provides a win.

“I’m sure he’ll want to play his last derby and finish on a high,” Rodgers told reporters.

“Everton is a massive game for him. He’s a boy from the city and he loves it, the derby. So does Steven Gerrard but these are guys that have shown passion in every single game.

“They want to win every game but obviously this adds that wee bit for them because they’re local boys.”

The Liverpool boss also admitted that he will have trouble trying to replace the club legend, whom he believes could play beyond the end of the season despite Carragher’s intention to retire and take up TV punditry.

“I can’t think of enough words to describe him – his performance level has been incredible,” Rodgers enthused. “It was always his dream to go out at the top and he’s fulfilling that dream because he’s a top operator at this level at the moment.

“But his concentration has only been on the games [this season] and no further than Everton.

“Away at Newcastle, you saw how he marshalled the defence and the way he has played recently, everything about his game has been at the top level. It’s a shame [he is retiring] because he probably could play on but he has already made his mind up.”

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