STEPHEN Carr says he'd be happy to see out his career with Birmingham City after Alex McLeish's club rescued the former Ireland man from football's scrapheap, writes AIDAN FITZMAURICE.
Carr was living back in Dublin and had retired from football at club and international levels when McLeish called him up last year, and the 33-year-old has rewarded Birmingham with some fine displays that have seen the former Tottenham man establish himself in the side - with 30 appearances for City this season, only three Irish players (Shay Given, Richard Dunne and Damien Duff) have played more games in the English Premier League this term - and also take the captain's armband.
"There's no reason why I couldn't see myself finishing my playing days at Birmingham. I've got a year left after this and I'm really enjoying it," says Carr.
''Especially under this manager. He has been brilliant for me and, touch wood, I've got a good few years left in me.
"My family have settled brilliantly. I was a bit worried with them coming over from Ireland but they love it, it's as if they have lived here for a good few years. They're all happy as Larry and the kids get on with it just as quickly as adults. I suppose they're used to it, they went to Newcastle and got on with it and then went back home to Dublin and then came here. Kids adjust.
"It's been brilliant coming back because I missed playing. I think the team I'm in now has the best togetherness I've ever experienced in a team. I think that comes from knowing that it's a massive thing to stay in the league because there are going to be times when we are going to lack that bit of quality against one of the bigger teams," added Carr.
"We have to just get together and work hard, we've done that in a lot of games and that's what got us on that unbeaten run and kept us on that run."
Birmingham's superb run of form earlier this season saw them go ahead of clubs like Liverpool in the league table and in sight of a European place - the club have not been in Europe since 1962 - and Carr has targeted a top ten finish at least. "Finishing outside of the top ten would now be a disappointment. To get to where we got so early was a massive bonus for everybody at the club," he added.