“Take it a game at a time” – James Milner on his chances of breaking Gareth Barry’s all-time Premier League appearance record

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James Milner has not just been a stalwart of Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool but also of Premier League and English football, recording his 594th appearance in the competition – against Everton.

Our No.7 was asked about his chances of catching Gareth Barry’s all-time record of 653 games in England’s top division and he said (via the club’s website): “It’s a long way off and I’m not looking at that, to be honest.

“Gareth was a machine who kept going and played in every game all the time. It’s a bit of a different role for me as I’m not starting every single game, so like I say, it’s not something I look at.

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“Gaz is obviously a big mate of mine and had an incredible career, but it’s not something we’ve ever really talked about and not something I’ll look at at the moment.

“Another 60-odd games is still a long way away at this moment in time, so I’ll do what I’ve always done and take it a game at a time and try to contribute as much as I can.”

The 36-year-old currently sits in fourth position on the all-time appearance list and will hope that he can close in on Frank Lampard (609), Ryan Giggs (632) and his former Aston Villa and Manchester City teammate (653), by making more appearances for the Reds.

It’s clear that the records aren’t what inspires our vice captain to continue playing but he appreciates that retirement will last a long time, so it’s important to make the most of each and every year he can still perform at the highest level.

Some of our supporters have questioned whether the Leeds-born veteran is still of the standard to play for our team, whether that be in the midfield or at right-back, but it’s clear that the boss still trusts him.

Versatility, reliability and leadership have been a huge part of what makes the former England international so important for us and, despite his age, he will continue to be a useful weapon in our arsenal this season.

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