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Becks wants medal for Owen

22 Jun 2006 - 08:07:24

David Beckham has revealed Michael Owen's knee injury has strengthened the resolve of England's players to win the World Cup.

Owen is likely to spend at least six months on the sidelines after damaging the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during the 2-2 draw against Sweden in Cologne on Tuesday.

The injury has left England short of strikers, but Beckham believes they have enough firepower in midfield to ensure that Owen finishes the tournament with a winner's medal.

"The players would like to win the World Cup for Michael," said the England captain.

"That's what we felt at half-time against Sweden when we came in and knew, from speaking to the doctors and physios, it was a bad injury.

"We wanted to finish the job for Michael and we have done the first part but it doesn't ease any pain for him. He has not had the best of years with injuries and we all feel for him.

"To lose Michael is devastating for all of us. In big competitions, including World Cups, you want proven goalscorers and great players in your team and he is one of those.

"But the good thing about this team is we have players throughout the team who can score goals.

"Steven Gerrard has two goals already and he and Frank Lampard both got 20 plus for their clubs last season. Even the defenders can chip in with a few. That's the good part."

Beckham was also upbeat about the form and fitness of Wayne Rooney, who lasted almost 70 minutes against Sweden - his first start since fracturing a metatarsal in April.

He added: "It is important Wayne got the time he did under his belt and it was also right he came off when he did.

"With Michael getting injured, you can't afford to leave Wayne on longer than his legs will take him because if he gets injured as well it is going to be difficult."


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