Carrick never gave up on England

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Published: Wednesday 12th November 2014 by The News Editor

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Retiring from international football never crossed Michael Carrick’s mind, despite being overlooked for England’s World Cup squad.

The vastly-experienced Manchester United midfielder was one of the most notable omissions from Roy Hodgson’s 23-strong side heading to Brazil.

Admittedly, Carrick had not had the greatest season at club level but his absence looked like it could be the end of the road for the midfielder after winning just 31 caps.

The 33-year-old was not sure whether the call would come again after that disappointment, yet insists calling time on his England career was never on the agenda.

“No, I was never tempted to (retire),” Carrick said. “I am only 33 now so hopefully I have got a few more years left, so it was never something that crossed my mind.

“I think you appreciate it a bit more the older you get and the closer you come towards the end of your career. You push things a bit more and being back now is great.”

Carrick, named as a standby for Brazil, is now only interested in looking forwards, with the prospect of a first England appearance since last year’s World Cup qualifier against Poland on the horizon.

A mouth-watering friendly in Scotland awaits after Slovenia arrive at Wembley in the latest qualifying match for Euro 2016 – a competition Carrick hopes he will be involved in.

“Of course (I want to be there),” he said. “I don’t think this is my last season.

“The longer your career goes on, the more you appreciate things. You do start seeing the end and that’s natural but I am enjoying things at the moment and I feel good.”

France would be the first European Championship of Carrick’s career, having been left out of the squad travelling to Poland and Ukraine in 2012.

The midfielder told the Football Association earlier that year he did not want to be a bit-part player anymore – a situation he grew used to over his England career due to competition from the likes of Paul Scholes, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and David Beckham.

“Yeah (it is tough), but this is playing for your country you know,” Carrick said. “You have the best to choose from.

“We are fortunate we have had some special players over the years in midfield.

“It was frustrating. I wish I could have played more but there is no point looking back. I have to look forward and make most of the time I have left.”

Now back in the England squad and fit after an injury-disrupted start to the season, Carrick is looking to become a key component in Hodgson’s side.

The former Spurs man is the oldest head in the current set-up and a player capable of challenging Jack Wilshere for the role at the base of the now favoured 4-4-2 diamond formation.

“It’s a position that suits me,” Carrick said. “But again, we have some terrific midfielders and lads that can play that position.

“It suits me though and of course if I am asked to play there I will, no problem.”

Published: Wednesday 12th November 2014 by The News Editor

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