Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Owen: I Just Want to Play; Toon Striker's Big Aim for Coming Season

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Owen: I Just Want to Play; Toon Striker's Big Aim for Coming Season

Article excerpt

Byline: By ALAN OLIVER

MICHAEL OWEN goes into yet another season with one big aim - to stay fit.

Obviously, the Newcastle striker would love to be the first the first United skipper to lift a trophy since Bobby Moncur hoisted the old Fairs Cup back in 1969.

And the England man has set his sights on steering clear of the treatment room this term, although he has been ruled out of tomorrow's opener with Manchester United at Old Trafford because of a minor injury picked up training.

Owen told me today: "It would be foolish to ask for anything else at the start of the season than to have an injury-free year with Newcastle United."

Owen has never actually started a season with United due to his misfortune with various injuries.

He added: "When I was younger I started a season on a regular basis, but this has all changed since I came to Newcastle due mainly to a couple of freak accidents.

"The first was when I broke my metatarsal at Spurs trying to score, and then when I damaged the cruciate ligaments in my right knee in the first minute of that World Cup match with Sweden.

"But last season, while I had the odd problem or two, especially with my hernias, I felt that I played in the majority of games and I finished the season strongly.

"I also scored quite a few goals and this has given me a lot of belief. And as a result. if I can stay fit I know I will help myself to a few more goals in the coming season."

Owen started 28 games for United, plus another five as substitute last season, and chipped in with 13 goals.

He was well to the fore in the latter half of the campaign in that 4-3-3 formation, playing up front with Mark Viduka and Obafemi Martins.

This is in direct contrast to the season before when he twisted his knee after 51 seconds with no other player anywhere near him in the World Cup encounter with Sweden, and did not play again until the defeat at Reading the following April, followed by just another couple of appearances. …

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