- Manchester United News
- News Archive
- League Table
- Premier League News
Capello open to Hargreaves return
Published : 15 Dec 2009 18:46:37
ENGLAND boss Fabio Capello insists there is still time for Manchester United midfielder Owen Hargreaves to earn a place in the World Cup squad heading to South Africa next year. Hargreaves, 28, has been out of action for almost 15 months after major surgery on both knees to cure a tendinitis problem - but he is almost ready to return to full training. United boss Sir Alex Ferguson recently revealed his 2007 signing from Bayern Munich is working well with physios and needs to regain the confidence needed before being ready for competitive football. Capello, who is refusing to rule Hargreaves out of his plans, said: "Why not? He can because he has time to recover everything. He has to play. Players who do not play will not be with me." The Italian added: "I spoke to him two months ago, I met him in Manchester and he was just ready to start training. But now he is not fit. "He has six months to recover his good form but he needs to play. I will choose players that will be fit in May, the players that play all the games." Hargreaves was England's player of the tournament for the 2006 World Cup in Germany but has had serious injury problems since - his last game for his country was against America in the season before last. Capello insists United striker Michael Owen, who he once described as his tormentor, is still in his thoughts but needs to play regular football at Old Trafford. He is not a tormentor, Capello told BBC Radio Five Live. Owen chances He is one of the players that I follow. I saw the last game he played, on television, and he scored three goals in the Champions League but the next game he did not play. For this reason, I ask myself why? Why (Wayne) Rooney plays always and Owen not? He is one of the important England players. Owen has been in provisional squads recently and where he ranks come the end of the season will depend on injuries to other players. At the moment Capello has 30 players in mind to compete for the 23 available places in the final World Cup squad. The players I choose will be fit and will play a lot of games, Capello said. In my mind I have 30 players because, I hope not, but if someone is not fit or injured, I have to decide the 23 players at the last moment. I follow all the players and check every moment what happened and when we decide, the players that will come with me to South Africa will be fit. I am checking the general situation in every game, if they improve or don't improve, or some young players who play one or two games. (James) Milner at the moment has changed position, from the wing and now like a (central) midfielder. (Wes) Brown played right-back last season and this year he has been centre-back. Capello also insisted the high level of expectation is something positive, adding: The expectation is really big. I understand fans think we are one of the best teams in the world. The confidence of the fans is good. Do you think Hargreaves will get back into United's first team before the end of the season? Have your say.