Owen eyes important United role

Michael Owen is optimistic he can play a prominent role at Manchester United in the 2011/12 English Premier League season.The 31-year-old has struggled to hold down a place in Sir Alex Ferguson’s side, finding himself behind Javier Hernandez, Wayne Rooney and Dimitar Berbatov in the pecking order.

But after signing a one-year extension to his contract at the end of last season and scoring in two of United’s three pre-season games so far, the former Liverpool, Real Madrid and Newcastle striker has given his manager something to think about ahead of the coming campaign.

“When the season starts that is when the manager will pick his strongest teams and that is when we will see who he picks,” Owen said.

“At this stage of the season there is a lot of changing because we’re all not where we want to be and we still have three or four weeks until we start properly.”

“The manager chops and changes things and the training is equally as important to get the fitness up.”

The Premier League title holders have cruised through their pre-season friendlies in America, having scored 14 goals and only conceded twice in their first three matches.

On Wednesday, the Premier League champions face an MLS All-Star team in New York, featuring the likes of Thierry Henry and David Beckham.

“We’ve been over in the States now for over two weeks, and we have had three good results against different American sides,” Owen said.

“But this has got a good feel to the game, it is an All-Star team with a lot of players that we already know about and played against, obviously the likes of Thierry Henry and David Beckham.

“We are really excited for the match, we’re here to win and we want to win even though it’s a friendly.”