Michael Carrick now fully committed to the England cause

MICHAEL Carrick insists he is now fully committed to making himself available for selection by England after holding talks with new head coach Roy Hodgson.

The Manchester United midfielder made his first appearance for his country since May 2010 when he appeared in last night’s 2-1 win over Italy in a friendly international in Berne. Carrick had made himself unavailable for selection early in the New Year and rejected a plea by the then caretaker Stuart Pearce to play against Netherlands in February.

He was asked again by Hodgson before he named his initial squad of for Euro 2012 and adopted the same stance but is now fully focused on trying to be part of the 2014 World Cup qualification campaign. Carrick said: “Now I am happy, and I am more than happy to be here. I spoke with the manager (Hodgson) and what has gone on in the past, we have drawn a line under that. There was some confusion because some people had thought I had said that if I wasn’t going to play, I didn’t want to be there.

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“That was certainly not the case and anyone who knows me, knows I am not like that. It was just that I hadn’t played for so long and wasn’t even close to playing, the Euros were coming and I thought it better not to go if I wasn’t going to be involved.

“That was a decision I made – and I stand by that – but, like I said I’ve drawn a line under that now. There is a new regime, a new manager, and things are looking great and I’d like to be part of the World Cup qualification campaign.”

Carrick marked his comeback by being captain for the final 20 minutes after Frank Lampard was substituted. He said: “It was very special for me to be captain of England. It is the first time I’ve done that.” England triumphed after coming from behind thanks to goals from Phil Jagielka and Jermain Defoe.