Owen pleased to play

Striker delighted to taste some action

Owen: Pleased

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Michael Owen admits he was delighted to have tasted first-team action after helping Manchester United to an FA Cup fourth round triumph over Southampton.

United had to come from behind at St Mary's before completing a 2-1 win, with Owen grabbing the equaliser.

It was the first time the 31-year-old had started an FA Cup match for United, and only his fifteenth start of his whole Old Trafford career.

And he was just delighted to be involved, saying: "The last time I started a game was Scunthorpe away," said Owen, who forgot he actually started at Sunderland a couple of matches later than that.

"I have been injured in the meantime but, when you do play, you have to perform.

"I did all right. It takes the pressure off a little bit.

"It is frustrating, obviously, because you always want to play a bit more.

"But I am old enough and wise enough to know the manager's problems and the amount of players he has to keep happy.

"The hard bit is when you get asked - and your opportunities have been few and far between - the pressure is really on to play well.

"If you don't, you will get your criticism and all the rest of it, but you will probably have to wait another three months for a chance."


Mexican sensation Javier Hernandez scored the second and Owen was full of praise the 22-year-old.

"He is definitely a goalscorer," said Owen,

"At the moment, he is a really good impact player.

"Maybe he doesn't score all the time but he always looks a threat.

"But there is a difference between starting and coming off the bench. I know as well as anyone it is much easier coming off the bench.

"Look at our last two games. We had a strong team out at Blackpool, we were 2-0 down after an hour. You put on a couple of substitutes and people think they changed the game.

"But it is easier to come on. Everyone else is knackered with 20 minutes to go."