Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher has refuted claims his career is nearly up, after being dropped in recent games against Chelsea and Manchester City.
Carragher was not in the starting 11 for both games, and was not called off the bench by Kenny Dalglish during the win and draw respectively.
Despite making over 500 league appearances and starting when fit in every game for 11 years, Carragher has accepted he now has a reduced role at Anfield.
"I am not the future of Liverpool,” he told the Daily Telegraph. “Daniel Agger, Martin Skrtel and Sebastian Coates are.
"But I can still be part of the present for a few more years…it’s not over yet.”
The 33-year-old admitted he and Steven Gerrard would have to get used to the idea they are no longer automatic starters.
The former England international also suggested Liverpool are no longer so dependent on the two most talismanic figures at Anfield.
"Over the last decade if I had missed a match I would have gone straight back into the team when available,” added Carragher.
“This time I didn't and I have to accept it, agree with it and understand it. I was out for a couple of weeks and the lads who came in did really well.
"I've always said mental strength is important in every player and this is another test of that. In the past there were people saying if Steven Gerrard and me weren't playing there was a problem, but now you look at it and say out of the last three games, we've won two away from home.”
The defensive stalwart believes the progress being made under Dalglish, using a new crop of young players, is a good things and is happy to do what he can to spur the club on to win trophies.
Carragher has accepted this may involve a less prominent playing role and will encourage any player who is above him in the starting 11 pecking order.
“We have to look to the future. I'm sure the manager, Damien Comolli (director of football) and owners are looking at that while wanting to make sure we're doing everything to win from one week to the next,” he concluded.
"I think I can speak for Stevie too when I say we're desperate to help the club win trophies as much as we can, whether we play or not.
"That has always been our aim. I still always want to play the next game, but this club has been great to me and I will never be disrespectful to it or to anyone who is selected ahead of me.
"That was one of the things Gerard Houllier always said to me. You must respect those that are playing, especially in your position."
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: https://www.givemesport.com/writeforgms