Michael Carrick has said he was disappointed to miss out on Euro 2012 after Roy Hodgson thought he had retired from the international set-up.
The 31-year-old informed the Football Association back in January that he would be unavailable for selection but confusion came about and he missed his chance this summer.
He told reporters: "I hadn't played for 18 months. Well, two years really. I had gone to the World Cup in South Africa, but I was never really going to play. There were injuries, but I knew I still wasn't going to play. That was hard for me.
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“By then, I hadn't played for so long I thought it was best for me not to be involved, really, and for the manager [Fabio Capello] to bring someone else in and give him a chance. That was pretty much it."
Despite making it back into the international fold, Carrick realises that he must continue to perform for both England and Manchester United and earn his place under Roy Hodgson during the qualification campaign.
He continued: "I realise this is an opportunity. I could spend a lot of time thinking about the past, but I can't blame everyone else that I've got so few caps - sometimes I haven't played well enough to get in the team.
"My ego is not that big to think I should have been playing every game for England, but it's up to me now to play well enough to play in the games ahead. A chance to start afresh. I am more than capable of being part of the team if I'm playing at my best.
"The manager didn't have to say too much to me to bring me back. I still want to be part of the England team. I'm delighted to be here again, I've missed the buzz, and, if I'm playing well enough and deserve my place, I'll get a fair chance of playing. If not, I won't."
Carrick explained that the original reason behind his initial retirement was the birth of his son and the prospect being after for up to two months was unthinkable at the time.
He added: "He was seven weeks old [when I returned from South Africa] and I'd only seen him for five days. That came into it.
“I have two children and a wife and they are a big part of my life, but how long have I got left at this level? You have to put that to one side in some ways and make the most of what I have left." This campaign may offer a final chance to prove he belongs.”