Stoke City news

Owen still hungry for success

October 5, 2012
By David Instone

Michael Owen has hit back at those who are suggesting he has lost his appetite for football.

Michael Owen
PA PhotosMichael Owen denies suggestions he has lost interest in the game

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Owen's love of horse racing is well known - and he admits the stables and physiotherapy business he part-owns take up chunks of his time - but he is adamant that football remains very much his number one interest and has used his own website to launch a self-defence of his priorities.

"People evolve," the Stoke City forward says. "Long gone are the days when I have little else in my life other than football. I'm now happily married and have the small task of bringing up four children.

"Inevitably, taking on these responsibilities requires a certain amount of time and effort but does that necessarily mean I have taken my eye off the ball when it comes to plying my trade? Absolutely not!

"Why did I get the urge to justify my actions? Because it feels like a slur on my character and integrity to hear people questioning my desire. Nature has dictated I am no longer the player I once was. It's got nothing to do with dedication, hunger or desire.

"Due to the nature of my injuries, I have had to reinvent myself and the way I play. No longer can I sprint 100 times in a game at lightning speed. I have had to adapt. But I believe my greatest achievement is to still be playing at the highest level after all the injuries.

"When the time comes to hang up my boots, I won't be sitting around wondering what to do next. But, until then, I am as hungry as I've ever been to succeed in the game."

Owen again seems likely to have to settle for substitute duty when Stoke visit his first club Liverpool on Sunday.