Owen expects better
17 Jun 2006 - 09:59:10
Striker Michael Owen expects both England and himself to find top form as they progress at the World Cup finals.
The 26-year-old Newcastle United forward has been substituted in both of England's games in Germany to date and attracted some criticism for his lacklustre displays.
However, Owen defended himself in saying: "I'm not worried about scoring goals, I've done that since I was born.
"I'm not disappointed with the way I played. I could have probably been more in everyone's eye by coming short for the ball all the time, but I would be doing a disservice to the team.
"I'm in the team to be in the box and if the ball is in the box and I'm not on the end of it, you can blame me.
"That is where I should be, in the box scoring goals for England."
Of his side's overall performances in the unconvincing wins over Paraguay and Trinidad & Tobago, Owen added: "We're obviously not firing on all cylinders yet.
"It's always difficult playing against the smaller countries who make life hard for you.
"You are never going to get an easy ride. We'll probably play better against better teams. We will have to play better. We have to raise our game."