Michael Owen insists he has no intention of giving up on his battle to become a key player at Manchester United.
The striker endured a frustrating first chapter with Sir Alex Ferguson's team, unable to get into the starting line-up the opening half of the campaign and then suffering a serious hamstring injury in the League Cup final against Aston Villa that would keep him out for the rest of the season.
The arrival of Mexico striker Javier Hernandez during the close-season could push Owen further away from first-team action if Ferguson continues to use Wayne Rooney as a lone forward. Yet the former Real Madrid star remains confident in his ability to win a starting place.
The 30-year-old missed United's pre-season tour of North America as he recovered from the injury, but he showed off his predatory instincts with a goal in United's 7-1 friendly win over an Irish League eleven in Dublin on Wednesday.
"I am loving my time at United," said Owen. "I don't feel as though I have a point to prove. I actually look back on last year with a lot of good memories. I had some great moments and the only shame was I had to miss the end bit where the prizes were getting dished out. Out of the first 43 squads, I was involved in 42. If someone had said I would be available for 42 games last year I probably would have taken it."
Owen prefers to remember the bright spots of the campaign, including a UEFA Champions League hat-trick against Wolfsburg and an injury-time winner in the derby against Manchester City.
After an energetic 45-minute outing against the Irish eleven, capped by a well-taken goal, Owen should play some part in this weekend's Community Shield encounter with Chelsea at Wembley.