Carrick clears up confusion

Midfielder delighted to be back in an England shirt

Michael Carrick: Hoping to be involved in England's World Cup qualifying campaign

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Michael Carrick was back in an England shirt against Italy on Wednesday and claims he never said that he did not want to be involved if he was not a starter.

The Manchester United midfielder was left out of Roy Hodgson's Euro 2012 squad amid reports suggesting that he had pulled himself out of contention due to a lack of international opportunities.

He was, however, drafted back into the fold for a friendly date with Italy and helped the Three Lions to a morale-boosting 2-1 victory in Berne.

Carrick even took the captain's armband for the final 20 minutes after Frank Lampard was substituted.

"Very special. It's the first time I've done that, so it's been a very special night for me," he told Sky Sports News HD.

The 31-year-old is, however, aware that his involvement will have raised a few eyebrows.

He is keen to clear up any confusion, with it never in his thoughts to turn his back on his country.

New regime

"I think there was confusion because people thought that I said if I wasn't going to play then I didn't want to be there. That's certainly not the case, anyone who knows me knows I'm not like that at all."

Michael Carrick

Quotes of the week

Carrick added: "I'm more than happy to be here. I have spoken to the manager and what has gone on in the past, I have drawn a line under that.

"I think there was confusion because people thought that I said if I wasn't going to play then I didn't want to be there. That's certainly not the case, anyone who knows me knows I'm not like that at all.

"It was more that I hadn't played for so long and I wasn't getting any closer to playing and the Euros were coming. At the last World Cup I hadn't been part of things and I thought it would be better for me not to go and not be a part of things if I wasn't going to be involved.

"That's the decision I made and I stand by that. I would like to draw a line under that now. There is a new manager and a new regime and things are looking great."

Asked if he hoped to be involved in England's 2014 World Cup qualification campaign, Carrick said: "I would like to be. I'm not saying I'm only here to play, because that's now the case.

"I was happy to play tonight, more than happy, and I'm looking forward to the future and what's ahead."