Owen holds no doubts
Man Utd striker Michael Owen insists he is confident in his own ability despite being restricted to a bench role.
By Jamie Casey
Last Updated: 23/01/10 2:10pm
Manchester United striker Michael Owen insists he is confident in his own ability despite being restricted to a bench role at Old Trafford.
Owen has made just nine starts since his free transfer to the champions, with 16 substitute appearances and seven goals also to his name.
Despite his reasonable goal ratio, Owen's form has been called into question this season with England manager Fabio Capello showing no signs of giving in to calls for his inclusion at this summer's World Cup.
Owen admits the notion of going to South Africa is one he has played with, but he is reluctant to allow doubters of his ability get the better of him.
"If you thought about it too long you might think, 'Right, I'm a c*** player because I can't get in the England squad' - but I'm confident in my own ability," Owen told The Guardian.
"If you think too much, you start doubting yourself, doubting your quality, so you have to train yourself in a certain way."
The former Liverpool striker, 30, is England's fourth all-time top goalscorer and he revealed he keeps up to date on the current set-up under Capello via team-mate Wayne Rooney.
"I've watched all the games. I know what the manager is looking for, even though I'm not there listening," he added.
"For example, I ask Wayne (Rooney), 'What does he expect when you've not got the ball?' So I have to stay in with it without thinking I'm part of it, because I'm not."
Owen has been tipped as having an outside chance of making Capello's squad since his move to Old Trafford, although he has not played for the national side in almost two years.
His exile has not damaged his hopes of boarding the plane this summer, however, and should he get the unlikely nod he is willing to grab the chance with both hands.
"I'd love to go and I'd love to play for my country and go to a World Cup again," he added.
"I've got to accept I'm not in the current squad and just think, 'If I get it, it's a bonus and I'll give it everything'."
The former Real Madrid and Newcastle forward also feels his game has a new side now that he is an experienced professional, and Owen takes pride in handing out advice in the United dressing room to star player Rooney.
"He (Rooney) likes listening to my opinion at half-time in games. After the manager says his piece, Wayne will walk over and we'll talk. If he has a problem I'll give my opinion."