Fowler: Few years left in me yet

Liverpool striker Robbie Fowler says he wants to stay a Red beyond the end of this season, and with Liverpool boss Rafael Benítez refusing to rule out an extension to his current contract there are strong hopes that the legend will be wearing our number nine shirt again next season.

Speaking to the Liverpool Echo’s Chris Bascombe, Robbie said that no discussions have yet been held on his future, but he doesn’t think it’s the right time to have those talks yet anyway: “I know it’s all a bit up in the air at the moment. I’ve not spoken to anyone about the future and to be honest I’m still just focusing on enjoying every minute I’m at Liverpool. I’ll sit down with people and think about next season when the time’s right.”

Robbie has had less chances to impress this season than he’d have liked, kept out of the squad by both injury and the good form of the other three Reds strikers. His influence on the squad off the field has been important though, and many Reds fans would love to see him offered a coaching role. However Robbie is fitter now than when he arrived at the club, thanks to the training plan put together for him from the beginning by Pako Ayesteran, and feels that his playing days are far from over: “Although I’m not the youngest player at the club, I’m not that old either. I still feel I’ve a few years left in me yet and I’ll be carrying on for longer. Some people have mentioned moving into coaching and I even saw a move to the USA mentioned, but I honestly haven’t even thought about anything like that yet. I still think I’ve a lot to contribute as a player and I’m just focused on playing as much as I can between now and the end of this season. There’s a lot to play for.”

Fowler’s lengthy absence from the team with only short spells on the field meant he was always going to be rusty when he did get an opportunity to start. He played well- scoring the two penalties and setting up Liverpool’s fourth goal – but recognises that some parts of his game could have been better: “Obviously it’s not easy to come back into the team when you’ve not played for a while, and I think that showed in some parts of my game. I’d prefer to score goals from open play rather than penalties, but I’m not complaining. I’ll take any opportunity which comes along to score. It was pleasing to play a part in the goal for Stevie at the end too. He’d made the penalties for me, so it was good to repay the compliment.”

One game Robbie would love to play in is the North West derby with runaway league-leaders Manchester United. United would have to throw the league away now to miss out on their first title in a few years, but Liverpool of course want to make the formality of them picking up that title one game later by beating them. The games between the two sides are arguably as big to Liverpool fans as the more traditional derbies with the more local and much smaller club Everton. Fowler has been a thorn in United’s side in the past, so does he fancy his chances of getting a game against them? “I’m not going to be kidding myself,” he says, “I wouldn’t expect to be starting that game next weekend, but obviously to be involved in any way would be great. That’s up to the manager, but I’m not under any illusions about the situation and know there are other players who’ll come back.”

Peter Crouch’s broken nose and stitches mean he’s not guaranteed to be involved next weekend next weekend, which would at least afford Fowler the chance of playing a part from the bench.