Kinnear backs Owen switch
Joe Kinnear has backed Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson to get the best out of Michael Owen.
By James Dall
Last Updated: 04/07/09 11:16am
Former Newcastle United manager Joe Kinnear has backed Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson to get the best out of Michael Owen.
Owen sealed his shock move to Old Trafford on Friday, signing a two-year contract with the Premier League champions.
The 29-year-old forward struggled for regular appearances at St James' Park due to injuries, making just 58 league starts in four years.
However, Kinnear, who worked with Owen on Tyneside last season, feels the striker could prove a canny acquisition by Ferguson.
He told Sky Sports News: "I wouldn't say I am surprised (about the move), because he is a very talented player. I wish him good luck. I think he will score goals.
"To be fair, I think he would be the first to put his hands up and say that he had a disappointing time (at Newcastle).
"But I am sure with all the great players around him at Man United that can only enhance his game.
"Michael's fitness has always been his Achilles heel, if you like. I am sure that is something Sir Alex has taken into account.
"He could rest him and play him a few games. Man United could be in that sort of position.
"The truth is, when we were at Newcastle there was a lot of burden on his shoulders because he was the main striker.
"Unfortunately, his fitness levels have let him down on a few occasions. But hopefully he has got over that. Hopefully he will go back to the Michael Owen that we all used to know.
"He's right up there with the best of them. I like to think I played with one of the best strikers in the world in Jimmy Greaves and Michael has similar attributes.
"He's a great pro, he's very dedicated, he's a really nice lad and I'm sure Alex will get the best out of him."
Kinnear also revealed that Owen came close to joining Everton in the winter transfer window.
He added: "Numerous clubs looked at him in the last window. There was a big chance of him going to Everton.
"But that didn't materialise and that fell through."