Nigel On Retirement

Nigel Winterburn, who faces his old club Arsenal on Saturday, says he hopes to continue playing next season.

"A lot of people are speculating and all I can say is that if I feel okay come March and April then obviously I will look to carry on for another season, but if I feel I have nothing left to offer then I will retire," he admits.

"I don't want to retire, people might think I do, but I'm realistic enough to know that it can't go on forever.

"It depends on the way I am playing - if I am happy enough with that it will be difficult to pack in but if I had two or three performances in a row like I did against Everton I'd know it would be time to pack in - there's a thin line.

"I think by the time that March and April comes around and the season is coming to a close I shall know how I feel and how I have got on during the season and it will be a case of taking it from there. If I'm going to retire there'd be nothing to discuss because my contract is up at the end of the year.

"But I don't really need to look a that for a little while because I'm more focused on helping us get some much needed points to lift us up the league. It is very tight at the moment and a couple of wins can lift us into the top eight."

Glenn Roeder commented after the win at Manchester United that if it was Nigel's last game there after a long and illustrious career, it would have been a good way to sign off.

But Nigel hasn't ruled out going for a hat trick of successive wins there and says: "I'd love to play at Old Trafford every week because it shows you are still playing in the Premiership against some of the best players in the world, and I could quite happily live with that for the next couple of years."

As for the league table, he insists that people have to forget the points that have been dropped recently and concentrate on putting some more in the bag.

"We just have to forget about those now," he says. "Those points against Aston Villa and Manchester United put us in the frame and one result would probably take us above halfway. That's important because if you get depressed at the bottom you start to struggle."

Winterburn is 14/1 to score against Arsenal - click here for details.