Veteran striker Michael Owen has issued a timely warning to Manchester United fans to curb their high expectations when he told manutd.com “We’re in a good position but we’re also wary that one bad week, let alone a bad month, can ruin our season.” Sensible words from the 31 year old who has experienced everything that football can throw up. Owen is completely fit once again after suffering a groin injury in February and did not ease up during the recent two week break in an effort to remain sharp.
“I spent a lot of time training and keeping up my fitness during the international break” he said “I did quite a few sessions here at Carrington and then the manager gave us a couple of days off. Even on those days off, though, I kept my fitness ticking over. I’d missed the last few weeks so it was important to do that.”
United has a crucial month ahead as they face three critical league clashes, an FA Cup semi final derby, a two leg Champions League quarter final tie against Chelsea followed by the vital visit to the Emirates where the title race may well come to its conclusion. It’s a daunting fixture list and as striker Owen acknowledges, one that could make or break United’s season.
“It’s exciting to still be involved in three different competitions” he admitted “we’re top of the league, in the semi finals of the FA Cup and the quarter finals of the Champions League. Everything’s in our own hands. We’ve got a massive month ahead of us and at the moment we have a chance of winning three trophies”.
But Owen’s experience then came to the fore when he warned “That said, I don’t think anybody here has mentioned the treble, we’ll just keep going and see where we are at the beginning of May. Maybe then we’ll start to get excited about the possibilities of winning a trophy or trophies.”
“Last year was disappointing” he confessed “I was fit for every game we played bar one for the first 43 games of the season. Then I missed all the exciting games at the end, hopefully this year it’s the other way around. I’ve had one or two fitness problems in the first half of the season so maybe I’ll get a clean run until the end of May. I’d prefer it that way because this is the time of the season when the prizes are being handed out. This is when you get a real buzz out of playing or coming off the bench.”
Owen then issued another warning to Uniteds rivals “I’ve got to be ready to produce the goods if called upon. There are plenty of examples down the years, especially at this club, where major honours have been won by players who have come off the bench. I have to have the belief that at some point over the next few weeks I’ll be called on to score an important goal. And when I am called on I have to be ready.”
Should Owen have his contract extended for another season?