Owen confident he can grab vital goal
Michael Owen is confident he can make the difference in the title race with a vital goal for Manchester United, as he prepares to return from injury for the conclusion of the season.
Owen has missed the last five months of action due to a thigh problem, but is almost ready for a return to the first team just as United look to hold off arch-rivals Manchester City over the closing stages of the campaign to claim the Premier League title.
Sir Alex Ferguson suggested this week that there is no better goal poacher for United to have in their ranks than a fully fit Owen, and the 32-year-old hopes he can justify his manager's faith with a pivotal strike over the next couple of months.
"Let's hope he's right. I know that if he's in need of a goal and he puts me on, then I'll certainly be hoping and thinking that I could do what he's said," Owen told The Sun. "It's been a tough few months, seeing the lads running out one way to the pitches and me walking another to the gym.
"The end is nearly in sight. I've just started training again so hopefully in a few weeks I'll be back and hopefully available for selection."
United are due to face City in a decisive league encounter at the Etihad Stadium at the end of April, a contest Owen is targeting with the ambition of making a decisive contribution.
Even if that does not transpire, Owen believes the experience the United squad can call upon may end up proving the most important factor.
"When the fixtures came out, you look at the Man City game third from the end of the season and think 'That's going to be a big game'," he added. "Now we're eight games from the end, it's looking like it's going to be an even bigger game.
"The lads have done fantastically well over the last couple of months. They've put together a great run of form and we're in a fantastic position.
"We're top of the league but it's going to be close - it's going to go down to the wire. But it's reassuring to look around our dressing room and see the likes of Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Rio Ferdinand and Wayne Rooney.
"They are people that have been there, seen it, done it and are guided by a man that has won more titles than most. We're in a nice position and we're looking forward to the rest of the season."