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Fergie feels for 'fantastic' Owen
Published : 21 Sep 2011 08:05:33
Sir Alex Ferguson admits he has not been able to give Michael Owen the games he deserves after the former England man's two-goal salvo against Leeds.
Owen scored twice, with Ryan Giggs adding another in first-half stoppage time as Manchester United romped to a 3-0 Carling Cup third-round win at Elland Road. It means Owen has now scored an incredible 11 goals from his last 12 starts.
"Michael Owen's finishing was fantastic," said Ferguson. "His goal ratio is unbelievable. We are very pleased with him. "Unfortunately for us he has had one or two injuries. But with me having Wayne Rooney, Dimitar Berbatov and Javier Hernandez he is not getting the games he deserves and that is unfortunate."
Bernatov ended up filling in at centre-back alongside Michael Carrick after 19-year-old debutant Ezekiel Fryers limped off near the end, to leave the visitors to coast home with 10-men.
Ferguson also confirmed that whilst Hernandez will return to training on Wednesday after emerging from the tackle by Ashley Cole on Sunday with only minor bruising, the Mexican will not be considered for the weekend trip to Stoke, when United should be fielding a more recognisable line-up.
"It was great for the young players to understand the club and for us to see their temperament," said Ferguson, who introduced Paul Pogba and Larnell Cole, in addition to Danny Welbeck, once victory was assured.
"The young lads did really well. It was a great experience for them. Young Fryers coped very well. The atmosphere at Elland Road is hostile and was not fazed by it."
After defeating United in the FA Cup at Old Trafford in January 2010, when they were still a League One team, at the very least manager Simon Grayson hoped his team could turn in a competitive performance. Unfortunately, the hosts were never in it once they had failed to capitalise on some early pressure.
"You have to give credit to Manchester United," he said. "They caused us a lot of problems.
"We gave the ball away too cheaply. Too many individuals over indulged themselves rather than keeping it simple. When you do that against top players, they will punish you and we didn't do ourselves justice."