Jamie heads Feb fab four
By Jamie Hunt
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Jamie Carragher has been voted the fans' Premiership player of February.
Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher can go into Wednesday's crucial Champions League clash against Benfica boosted by the fact he has been named the Offical PFA Fans' Player of the Month for February.
The Reds are 1-0 down from the away leg in Portugal and they will need the England international to be at his vigilant best if they are to keep the European dream alive - and Carragher is certainly the man to rely on for the big occasion.
Since being switched to centre back by Rafael Benitez, Carragher has been a stalwart for club and country and his consistency is something which the Liverpool boss says entitles him to 'stand alone as a pro's pro'!
Liverpool legend Alan Hansen is a big Carragher fan too, and the TV pundit has gone on record as saying: "Jamie is ten times a better defender than I could ever be. He is a completely different player. He is a great defender whereas I was not. My strengths were on the ball, positional sense and recovery pace.
In paying the ultimate tribute to a player who claims he would 'never think of leaving Liverpool', Hansen added: "I think if we look at Liverpool greats over the years - and there have been a lot of them - Carragher is up there with the best of them."
After a dodgy start to February, Liverpool have got their Premiership campaign back on track with league wins against Wigan, Arsenal and Manchester City - as well the FA Cup victory over Manchester United.
With the Reds currently 15 points behind leaders Chelsea, however, Carragher has ruled out the prospect of winning the title this season, but he says: "The aim definitely next season is to win the league, we have come on a long way. Twelve months ago we lost 2-0 at Southampton and I remember how bad that was.
"The strides we have made, winning the European Cup, and how close we are to challenging these top sides shows how well we have done these past 12 months. Hopefully over the next 12 months we will make a similar progression and finish off with us being champions at the end of next season."
It's hard to imagine Carragher in anything but a Liverpool shirt, apart from an England jersey of course, and after signing a new deal which will keep him at Anfield until 2009, the World Cup-bound defender said last year: "This is the best club in the world with the best fans, so I'm very proud to be a Liverpool player for the next four years and hopefully even longer.
'We've had some fantastic times recently and winning the Champions League was the biggest achievement of my career. Now we're going to make winning the Premiership title our top priority."
In the Championship, the monthly award goes to Preston's Claude Davis who played a huge part in North End's record-breaking 22-match unbeaten league run which only came to an end at Reading at the weekend. The Jamaican international, a regular fixture in the Preston side, arrived at the Championship club at the start of the 2003-04 season, initially on a one-year loan deal - and he recently signed a contract extension which will keep him at Deepdale until 2009.
The awards in Leagues One and Two go to Darryl Flahavan and Michael Reddy who are ably assisting Southend and Grimsby's quest to win promotion from their respective divisions this season.