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Stoke City (A) Wed 4 Mar 2015, 19:45, Barclays Premier League

by Matthew Gamble @efc_mattgamble

Phil Neville has set his sights on continuing to play for two or three more seasons after making his 500th Premier League appearance.

Neville, who is now closing on 700 career games, became only the seventh player to reach the landmark when he played the full 90 minutes of Everton's 2-1 Boxing Day win over Wigan.

He recently returned from knee surgery but insists he feels as fit as ever and intends to continue as long as he feels he is helping the team.

Neville exclusively told evertontv: "The win was more important but the 500 appearances is something I have been aiming for for the last couple of seasons. I knew it would probably come this season and I have been striving for it, trying to keep myself fit.

"When it came I thought 'dear me, I am getting old'. When you get to my age, these landmarks keep coming - my next aim is to get another 14 games to get to 700 career appearances."

Manager David Moyes has often paid tribute to the professionalism exhibited by his captain since his arrival six-and-a-half years ago, citing it as a key reason why he is still able to perform at the top level.

Neville continued: "The pleasing thing is that I have still got the hunger and desire to play on for two or three seasons. I want to play in every game and as long as I retain that hunger I will be happy. I want to train every day, I want to play every game and I want to play my part.

"When you get to 35, and I am 36 next month, the key bits are: one, your fitness and how your body feels - my body feels good, and two, can you still make a contribution to the team - and I think that I am contributing.

"The minute that stops or my body starts wailing I will have to look at myself in the mirror."

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