Skipper hit 500 appearances in recent defeat at QPR and is now looking ahead to number 502 in a crucial game against his former club Blackburn Rovers on Saturday.
- Stephen Warnock on 500 career appearances and his return to Blackburn Rovers this weekend.
- Warnock offering no favours on his return to Ewood Park.
- 35-year-old still feels he can add many more appearances to his current tally.
Wigan Athletic captain Stephen Warnock has been delighted by the messages he has received this week, after racking up his 500th career club appearance.
The former England international has reached the tally nearly 15 years after making his league debut for Bradford City at Walsall in 2002, having played for the Bantams, Liverpool, Coventry City, Blackburn Rovers, Aston Villa, Bolton Wanderers, Leeds United, Derby County and Latics.
Reflecting on the milestone, Warnock told wiganathletic.com:
“You want to reach a point in your career that you can be proud of and I think in anyone’s career 500 games is one to be proud of.
“Everyone has been congratulating me on a great career but it’s not over yet and I want to carry on playing for as long as I can.
“It’s been tough, especially after three leg breaks, don’t get me wrong, and I am very proud to reach the milestone.”
Stephen Warnock made his Football League bow for Bradford City, on loan from Liverpool.
With the exception of his loan spell at Latics last season, Warnock has spent all of his 15-year career in the top two divisions of English football, something he’s determined to continue.
“I knew the situation last season when I came here on loan with a view to joining Wigan as a Championship club, so I took a step back to take a step forwards and I want to remain playing at this level,” he added.
“I have played at the highest level for pretty much all of my career and I am very pleased with that – all of the teams I have played for have played in the Premier League too and that’s been pleasing because I’ve played for prestigious clubs, with history and great support.”
Should he feature against Blackburn Rovers on Saturday and Birmingham City on Tuesday, Warnock will bring up his half century of appearances for Latics, 12 months after joining the club on loan from Derby County – a move later made permanent.
He remains the only player to have featured in every minute of this season for Latics, but says that will only matter if his side stay up come the end of the campaign.
“It’s gone fast, and I’ll be delighted to bring up 50 appearances for Wigan Athletic, hopefully in the next week,” he continued.
“I wouldn’t have it any other way; I make myself available for every game and make sure that I am as fit as I can be for every game and try and live my life as well as I can to do my job to the best of my ability.
“The older you get, the more you look after yourself, because you understand it more and you learn your own body. I am extremely proud of playing every minute of every game this year but it won’t mean anything if we don’t stay up.
“I thought this year it would get harder because of my age but I haven’t found it harder at all, hopefully that continues for a long time.”
Saturday brings around a return to Blackburn Rovers for Warnock, the club he has featured for more than any other in his career to date.
But, despite an enjoyable time at Ewood Park, he’s offering no favours in a six-pointer for both sides
Warnock played over 100 games for Blackburn Rovers.
“I loved it at Blackburn and they gave me the platform to kick-start my career after I’d had a stop-start time at Liverpool,” he said.
“I wanted to play regularly and Blackburn was an amazing club for me, I am very fond of my time there and everyone who knows me understands that.
“The best days of my career and what I enjoyed most was going in to work at Blackburn because it’s a great club.
“I am contracted to Wigan now and I am enjoying my time here as much as I did at Blackburn because of the setup behind the scenes.
“I love it here and my job is to keep Wigan in the Championship so, if that were at Blackburn’s expense, then so be it – that’s the harsh reality of football.”
And he knows the game comes at a crucial stage of the season for Latics, with a massive three games ahead.
“It’s probably the biggest week of the season bar none and through our own results, we’ve put that pressure on ourselves,” Warnock finished.
“We need a massive week, we’re capable of doing it but I think we need to be more adventurous in our performances and let the shackles off – hopefully that starts Saturday.
“The atmosphere will be incredible and I am sure there will be a big crowd on; we enjoy the away games where the fans are singing non-stop all game.”
Warnock looking for big derby atmosphere on Saturday at Ewood Park.