Crouch: We can cope without Owen

Peter Crouch insists England can cope without Michael Owen after the striker was ruled out of his country's crucial UEFA EURO 2008 qualifiers.

Newcastle manager Sam Allardyce has confirmed that Owen, who has groin and hernia injuries, will miss the matches against Estonia and Russia in October.

As if that wasn't bad enough, England coach Steve McClaren will have to do without Owen's strike partner Emile Heskey, who was injured in his first match for Wigan after impressing in the recent back to back wins over Israel and Russia.

Crouch is likely to profit from those injuries by regaining his place alongside Wayne Rooney in the England attack. But the Liverpool forward believes McClaren has enough quality options regardless of who he picks.

"We are rich in the striking department," Crouch told Radio Five Live on Wednesday. "We've got the strength in depth to cope with any injuries we've got.

"I certainly believe we have got players to come in and can certainly do more than a job," he added. "If Owen's out, we've got Andrew Johnson, Wayne Rooney's fit now. We've got Jermain Defoe."