Michael Carrick wants to be a key man for England

Michael Carrick England training
Image: Michael Carrick: In England training action

Michael Carrick says he is determined to finally play a major part in an international tournament with England after 11 years of false dawns and disappointments.

Having made his debut way back in 2004, Carrick is the second-longest serving member of the England squad behind Wayne Rooney.

But unlike Rooney, who has 101 caps, Carrick has struggled to put in a run of appearances for his country, especially in major competitions.

If he turns out in the European Qualifier against Lithuania on Friday, it will be just the 32nd time Carrick has played for England.

The 33-year-old has, remarkably, played just one game in a tournament for England - and that came under Sven-Goran Eriksson at the 2006 World Cup.

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Roy Hodgson omitted the midfielder from his squads for Euro 2012 and last year's World Cup, but Carrick is now regarded as a key member of the squad and has his eyes on next year's European Championship in France.

"That's definitely what I'm striving towards," he said. "As a team, there's really good signs. It's important not to get carried away.

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"But for me to have another crack and try to have a bigger influence in the team and the squad is the target. There is plenty left for me to achieve."

The fact that Chris Powell, Danny Mills and Alan Smith were on the pitch when Carrick came off the bench to make his England debut in a 4-0 win over Mexico shows just how long he has been involved with the England set-up.

Euro 2016 Qualifiers

He played seven times each under Eriksson, Steve McClaren and Fabio Capello while Hodgson has fielded the former Spurs man on nine occasions.

He said: "There were times when I felt I could have had more of a chance it didn't go so well for whatever reason.

"But I'm not complaining. I feel fortunate to have been able to play for England to start with. To play that many times in some ways is a good achievement. When you compare it with others and ask 'is it enough?', I obviously feel I should have had more.

"That's not blaming any managers, that's down to me as well. At certain times I could have done better.

"I should have had more caps but it's not something I'm sitting here regretting at this stage. There is still more to come."

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