Yesterday, John O’Shea claimed that despite what people may think, Sir Alex Ferguson is very supportive of his players going on International duty. With a friendly scheduled for tomorrow, something which Ferguson has branded ‘a waste of time’ in the past, our manager is obviously less that impressed, particularly when considering the injuries we already have to Rio Ferdinand, Wayne Rooney, Darren Fletcher, Gary Neville, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Owen Hargreaves.

“Hopefully we’ll got a good proportion of the players back fit from their international exertions,” said Ferguson. “We’ve got a lot of players all over the place. For example, Vidic and Berbatov are playing (against each other) in Belgrade and Michael Carrick is in Germany with England. Cristiano Ronaldo, Nani and Anderson are travelling across to Brasilia and I don’t know when they get back. That’s not an easy trip that.”

Whilst the rest of the England team are dropping like flies, Carrick is relishing the opportunity to play for his country, but does the manager feel the same way?

“Friendlies are not meaningless,” said Carrick. “To play for your country is a massive honour. Germany versus England at any level is a huge game. I certainly do not regard it as a hindrance. But I accept the manager (Ferguson) does not really look at it that way. He has his own agenda and there are things to be won at domestic level.”

He’s not quite singing from the same hymn sheet as O’Shea on this one, who claims that Ferguson actually likes our players to take part in these matches, as it helps improve their game.

However, Carrick does enforce the point that our players aren’t put under any pressure from the manager to pull out of International duty.

“He has never put me under pressure not to play in a friendly,” he added.

Saying that, how many Internation friendlies has Carrick been drafted for…