Paul Scholes keeen to extend his career

 

Paul Scholes needed no persuading to extend his career by another season after admitting he handled his initial retirement badly.

The 37-year-old called time on his stellar career following the 2011 Champions League final defeat to Barcelona at Wembley.

Six months later, he was turning out for Manchester United in their FA Cup third round tie at Manchester City, having asked Sir Alex Ferguson if he could make the most dramatic of comebacks.

Scholes has since signed on for another season, which Ferguson does expect to be the former England midfielder's last.

It was not that Scholes thought his first decision was necessarily wrong.

More than by accepting a coaching role, he was forced to watch old team-mates train every day at Carrington, which meant his own desire to play never completely went away.

"I was all right for the first couple of months after retiring and didn't really miss anything," Scholes told reporters on Manchester United's recent pre-season tour of South Africa.

"But once I got back into going to Carrington and coaching the reserves, as well as being with the lads, it was difficult, especially when there were so many injuries to the team.

"If I'd stayed away from the reserves and the club I'd probably have been OK. But every day that I was going in I just wanted to train and be involved.

"The manager didn't have to twist my arm to play this season."

Scholes had a positive impact too, so much so that it was suggested he might earn a shock call-up to Roy Hodgson's Euro 2012 squad, eight years after his last international.

In the end, Hodgson never even made the call, which is a shame, because Scholes might just have said yes.

"I wasn't offered the chance," said Scholes.

"It was flattering to be talked about. But I wasn't asked, so it means nothing."

Ferguson was doubtless pleased Hodgson kept his mouth shut as it meant Scholes was one of the few senior figures within the United squad who was available for the entire pre-season campaign.

Scholes wanted to get back too, after spending the summer reflecting on what might have been after that out-of-character late-season collapse that gifted the Barclays Premier League to Manchester City.

"It's always a motivating force when you lose the league," he said.

"It's not nice to see another team celebrate winning the title on the last day of the season. That picture stays with you."

PA

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