Belfast Telegraph

Michael Owen optimistic of more game time with Manchester United

Michael Owen expects to have plenty of chances to impress for Manchester United over the coming months after opening his account for the season with two goals in the Carling Cup at Scunthorpe on Wednesday.

The former England striker netted twice in the second-half at Glanford Park as the defending champions progressed to the fourth round with a 5-2 win.

Previously Owen had managed only 46 minutes of action since the Community Shield in August, but made a significant impact when given the chance.

Although Sir Alex Ferguson was not at the ground having chosen to watch next week's Champions League opponents Valencia instead, the striker's efforts did not go unnoticed.

Assistant manager Mike Phelan, in charge for the night, said: “Michael Owen did exceptionally well and showed what a top, top player he is. I thought he contributed to everything.”

Owen's future at Old Trafford has been called into question in recent weeks, with the striker reportedly unhappy at his lack of playing time.

The 30-year-old, though, expects that to change now the season is in full swing.

He said: “It's been a strange start to the season. We've played weekend-weekend-weekend and then into a double-header international break so the manager's kept a similar team through those three games.

“There's been a lot of us that haven't played in the first month of the season, but now the Champions League's started, the League Cup's started and there's Premier League games all the time so I'd like to think there's going to be plenty of games coming thick and fast.

“People make a lot of different situations, but there's a lot of us in the same boat that haven't had many minutes.

“It's a difficult juggling act for the manager because he's got young kids that he wants to bring through and learn a thing or two, then there's players that have been injured coming back into the action and players that need the games that have been fit, so it's par for the course at Manchester United, but it's a bit false at the minute because there have been so few games.”

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