Michael Owen intends to keep his head down and continue battling to win back his England place. Even though he was named in Fabio Capello's provisional squad, Owen missed out again last night when the Italian made the final cut for England's friendly with the Netherlands in Amsterdam on Wednesday.
It has come as a blow to the 29-year-old after starting life at Manchester United by scoring four goals during their pre-season campaign. However, Owen will not allow the setback to get him down and is hopeful the goals continue to fly in once the Barclays Premier League campaign starts next week. If so, it would naturally bolster his hope that his England exile, which dates back to the defeat by France in Paris nearly 18 months ago, will eventually be brought to an end.
"I've been in the provisional squad quite a few times, but the final squad is the one you want to be in," he said. "I have had a good start to my United career. I haven't missed a training session or a match.
"But it's down to the management," Owen said. "I have just got to continue doing well and see where that takes me."
It could be argued the opposition Owen faced in the Far East, when he scored all his goals so far, was not exactly the strongest. However, as the former Liverpool talent pointed out, you can only score against the defenders put in front of you and he is confident once the Barclays Premier League champions tackle Birmingham City at Old Trafford, he will continue in the same vein.
"I have done as well as I can in pre-season, now I am just eager to start the new season like anyone else," said Owen.
"It has been easy to settle in at United. The players have made me very welcome and I feel like I have been here a couple of years already," he said. "Now I just want the season to start."