Carrick still up for England duty

Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick has no intention of calling it quits with England.

Carrick was part of Fabio Capello's World Cup squad but didn't get on the field for a single minute in South Africa as James Milner became the man who filled in for Gareth Barry, even though the move did not work out against the United States and the Aston Villa man was hauled off after half an hour.

Even as England's hopes of glory evaporated against Germany in Bloemfontein, Carrick only had a watching brief, leaving him stuck on 22 caps.

As Carrick then received a public rebuke from Capello on Sunday when the Italian gestured that he had failed to be informed the 29-year-old was fit after all - even though Sir Alex Ferguson had ruled him out for a fortnight with an ankle injury 48 hours previously - he could be forgiven for being one of those who have fallen out of love with the national team.

But, ahead of United's Premier League opener with Newcastle on Monday, the former West Ham star has no intention of following Wes Brown's lead and withdrawing from the international scene.

"Finishing with England has not crossed my mind," he said.

"Obviously things change the older you get and people have family to think about. Everyone has their own reasons.

"But for me, it is about getting into the Manchester United team and playing well. What happens after that with England happens. We will just have to wait and see."

The ankle mystery has now been solved.

Initial diagnosis following the Dublin friendly in which he first got the knock a week ago stated categorically that a fortnight's recovery was required.

Yet, as time dragged on, Carrick felt no ill-effects.

On Saturday morning he informed United's medical staff he felt able to at least start the public training session at Old Trafford.

The ankle stood up to the challenge so, lacking in match practice after returning late to pre-season training due to his World Cup commitments, Carrick was pressed into service by Ferguson for the Community Shield win over Chelsea.

"The ankle is fine now," he said.

"It was just a bit of a mix-up. After a couple of days there was no damage or swelling which is why I gave it a go in training.

"Obviously there was a bit of a mix-up in communication with the Football Association but I suppose it is one of those things.

"We just have to move on."

Source: Team Talk
Date Published: 13 August 2010