The former Manchester United full-back is one of England manager Roy Hodgson's coaches, a role he combines with working as a match analyst for Sky Sports.
"It was no plan of mine to go into coaching," he said in an interview with the Daily Telegraph. "I was quite comfortable that I had stepped out of football and I didn't want to rush things - while not dismissing the fact that I did want to go back in eventually."
He admitted, though, the chance to be involved with England was what persuaded him to reassess in May last year.
"It's England, I loved playing for England, I love my country," he added.
"Roy is a fantastic coach and when I watch him take a session he believes wholly in the ethic of coaching.
"He takes nearly all the sessions and I'm there to help and support the manager."