JAMIE CARRAGHER is on a mission to ensure he celebrates a special landmark in style tonight as he looks to banish the memory of last season’s miserable trip to Craven Cottage.
The defender will move into second place in Liverpool’s all-time appearance list when he plays his 666th game for the club against Fulham.
Carragher was sent off in a 3-1 defeat when the sides last met in the capital in October 2009 and wants to ensure he remembers tonight’s clash for all the right reasons.
“It’s going to be a proud night for me but the most important thing is getting three points,” he said.
“The last time we went to Fulham we didn’t play well and me getting sent off just capped a bad day.
“There are always little things in the back of your mind you use for motivation and that’s one of them. Hopefully I can redeem myself.
“The previous season Yossi Benayoun scored the winner in the last minute so it’s not been that long since we won there. It’s a massive game for us.”
Tottenham’s failure to beat Blackpool on Saturday means the Reds only need a point to reclaim fifth spot tonight.
Spurs travel to Anfield next Sunday but Carragher insists Liverpool must focus on Fulham. Mark Hughes’ ninth placed side have hit a rich vein of form and are unbeaten at home since December.
“This is probably even more difficult than the Spurs game,” he said.
“Fulham are playing really well at the moment and at home they are always good.
“They are very solid and well organised. The pitch at Craven Cottage is very tight so it’s difficult to break them down
“But we are in good form ourselves so it should be a great game.”
Carragher, who will move above Emlyn Hughes and Ray Clemence in the Reds’ all-time appearance list, is guaranteed a warm ovation from the travelling fans when he leads Liverpool out tonight.
Their support means a great deal to the stand-in skipper who knows no player gets judged more harshly than one who has progressed through the ranks.
“The supporters have been fantastic to me,” he said.
“They probably see me as like them. I’m a supporter and I feel the results like them. When you lose you take it home with you.
“Towards the end under Gerard Houllier when we weren’t doing well I maybe got a bit of stick but I was playing full-back and that wasn’t my position.
“I ended up playing for England there so I obviously did a good job but a modern full-back flies up the wing and that wasn’t me. I’m just glad I ended up going back to centre-back. In football you have critics and you have ups and downs. It can be tough for local lads.
“Everyone is delighted for the young lads coming through at the moment. But if they are here for a long time they will have critics, don’t worry about that. They will have to come through that.
“It can easily change from one week to the next.”