Manchester United striker Michael Owen believes that the newly relaid Wembley pitch is a 'big improvement'.
The 30-year-old's first season with United in 2009/10 was curtailed in late February as he sustained a hamstring injury during the Carling Cup final victory over Aston Villa.
Owen blamed the much-maligned Wembley pitch for the injury and pointed out that other players suffered in the final, while individuals also sustained problems in an England friendly against Egypt the following week.
Since that time the surface has been relaid twice and after returning to Wembley in Sunday's Community Shield, when he made his first competitive appearance since undergoing an operation, Owen was impressed with the latest pitch.
Bear the brunt
The striker told Sky Sports of the new Desso turf, which mixes artificial fibres with real grass: "It was a really good pitch.
"As soon as we stepped out onto it we all looked at each other and said, 'what a difference'.
"Last time, when we were in the cup final, you were almost sinking as soon as you walked on it and it was cutting up pretty badly.
"It wasn't just me that got injured in that game and there was a game later when a lot of people got injured.
"Unfortunately I bore the biggest brunt of it, but that was a big improvement today."