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Speed says career is not over yet

Gary Speed has played 18 games for Sheffield United this season
Gary Speed has played 18 games for Sheffield United this season

Sheffield United midfielder Gary Speed says claims his playing career may be over are "premature and disrespectful".

The former Wales captain, 39, needs a back operation that could keep him out for the rest of the season.

He said: "I might have the operation and might not be able to continue, but that's up to me to say and decide."

Speed won the old First Division title with Leeds in 1992 and scored in every Premier League season until he dropped a division.

The midfielder injured his back in the 3-1 defeat to Wolves last month and has a disc pressing on the nerve leaving a numb feeling in his right leg.

He is due to have an operation and has set himself a target to get back on to the pitch before the season is finished.

606: DEBATE

"I would like to get back playing," he told BBC Radio Wales. "In my own mind, I have pencilled in March.

"I've read in the papers and seen on the TV that my career is over and that's a bit unfair. I haven't been too pleased with that because it certainly isn't the case."

He added: "I want to contribute to Sheffield United this season and if I can do that come the latter end, then that's great.

"All I am thinking about is getting this back right and continue playing."

United boss Kevin Blackwell said the midfielder could take up a management or coaching role with another club.

Blackwell said: "I am getting used to being without him as a player."

Speed, who has won 86 caps for his country, started his career with Leeds in 1988 and moved to Everton for 3.5m in 1996.

Two years later he joined Newcastle for 5.5m and he then signed for Bolton in the summer of 2004.

Four seasons followed at the Reebok before he joined Sheffield United in last season's January transfer window.

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see also
Speed wants to carry on playing
01 Apr 08 |  Sheff Utd
Blades complete Speed loan deal
02 Jan 08 |  Sheff Utd


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