Owen proud to be at United

23 July 2011 10:56
Michael Owen insists there is nowhere he would rather be than Manchester United as he prepares to take on Chicago Fire on Saturday night.[LNB] Given his lack of appearances last term, it came as something of a surprise this summer when manager Sir Alex Ferguson handed Owen a new one-year contract.[LNB]The 31-year-old readily accepted, even though, with seven strikers on the present United States tour, competition for places will be huge.[LNB]Owen already knows he will be behind Wayne Rooney, Javier Hernandez and, probably, Dimitar Berbatov in the pecking order, begging the question exactly how often he is going to play.[LNB]"I am at the best team to be at," said Owen.[LNB]"Where would you go from here? Every game is important. The only way is down.[LNB]"It is exciting to be part of a squad that is always competitive.[LNB]"There are so many games in a season at Manchester United. We probably play 20 or 30 more than a normal Premier League side, so there are lots to go round.[LNB]"You never know when the manager is going to call on you and it is exciting to be part of that."[LNB]Owen has scored goals in both United's pre-season games and with the heat returning after a huge thunderstorm on Friday, is virtually certain to play some part in Saturday night's clash with local MLS outfit Chicago Fire.[LNB]Ferguson has already confirmed David de Gea will start, whilst fellow Under-21 internationals Danny Welbeck, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones are also set to play ahead of Javier Hernandez's planned arrival at the weekend.[LNB]For Smalling and Jones, it is the start of a battle to try and displace Rio Ferdinand and skipper Nemanja Vidic.[LNB]It appears a forlorn hope. But it is not one even Ferdinand feels they should be scared of.[LNB]"They can't be in awe of me," said Ferdinand.[LNB]"If they are, they will get shipped out. Your desire has to be to play.[LNB]"I remember what I was like when I was young, looking up at Slaven Bilic, Marc Rieper, Alvin Martin and Steve Potts at West Ham.[LNB]"I was only a kid but I used to sit on the bench and think I should be playing. I am sure these guys think the same thing.[LNB]"They are all talented footballers and, I believe, Manchester United players. At some point I am sure they will take over the reins.[LNB]"But I am competitive and I don't want to be giving up my position to anybody. My task is to prove I am hungrier than them."[LNB]Meanwhile, Antonio Valencia has confirmed he should be back in full training by the time United return to their Carrington training base.[LNB]The Ecuador winger suffered an ankle injury during the Copa America and was immediately sent back to Manchester for treatment by Ferguson.[LNB]However, in response to a question posed on Twitter by Rio Ferdinand about when he would be back, Valencia said: "I hope (to) be well in one week."

Source: Team_Talk