Fergie hails deadly Owen

Former England striker notches brace to earn boss' praise

Owen: Notched brace while Giggs also scored at Elland Road

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Sir Alex Ferguson paid tribute to Michael Owen after his brace helped Manchester United beat Leeds in the Carling Cup at Elland Road.

The former England striker notched the double on his first start of the campaign as the Red Devils ran out 3-0 winners to progress into the fourth round.

Ryan Giggs was also on the scoresheet in the game, which saw Ferguson hand debuts to defender Ezekiel Fryers, who produced an assured display alongside Michael Carrick at centre half, and fellow youngsters Paul Pogba and Larnell Cole.

"His (Owen's) ratio per games is unbelievable. His second goal in particular was fantastic. I'm very pleased for Michael," Ferguson told Sky Sports 2.

"His ratio per games is unbelievable. His second goal in particular was fantastic. I'm very pleased for Michael."

Sir Alex Ferguson

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The United boss added the number and quality of strikers at his disposal meant Owen does not get the games he deserves.

"That's just unfortunate for him. Nonetheless, he's a fantastic player to have around," he admitted.

Good composure

Regarding his debutants, Ferguson added: "I thought young Fryers did very well. He showed good composure, wasn't fazed by it which is really good because you always want to see what their temperaments are like because the atmosphere here, as you know, is hostile and he coped with it very well.

"Paul got a good 45 and young Larnell Cole came on at the end - it's good for them to get taste of the atmosphere and what the first team is like."

Ferguson believed his side fully deserved their win over a Leeds side which kept working throughout.

"The first half was a tremendous performance by us. The movement off the ball and the possession on the ball was very good," he said.

"Leeds kept trying and trying, they showed a very determined attitude, they never gave in and we just wanted to make sure we were through."