Owen refuses to give up England hope
Manchester United striker Michael Owen has not given up hope of playing for England again - but is "not stupid enough to get myself worked up". Owen has only started two of United's 10 games this season, but the former Liverpool and Real Madrid star believes he can still prove to be a handful at international level. The 30-year-old's last appearance for the Three Lions came as a substitute in a 1-0 defeat to France in March 2008. And Owen has been consigned to the international wilderness ever since the game in Paris, with Fabio Capello yet again snubbing the forward from his latest squad. The Italian favoured uncapped Bolton striker Kevin Davies for Tuesday's Euro 2012 qualifier against Montenegro at Wembley. But the man who has scored 40 goals in 89 appearances for his country insists he has not given up hope of adding to that tally. Owen told the Daily Mirror: "I haven't resigned myself to never playing for England again. "But I'm not stupid enough to get myself worked up before every squad's announced and then go 'oh no, the world's caved in and I'm not in it again'. "Everyone deals with things in different ways. The first time I wasn't named in the squad I was really gutted. The second time I was pretty gutted, the next time I was just gutted and so on. "People deal with knockbacks in life, whatever they may be, in different ways. You build up a protective mechanism so it won't hurt you. "If someone punches you on the nose, it hurts, so the next time it happens you'll put your hands up or you expect it's coming, so you soften the blow. "It's like that with England. It hurt to start with, it hurt a little bit less the second time, and now it doesn't hurt as much. But that doesn't mean I've given up. "I'd love to play for my country again, but I don't look out for the squad expecting my name to be in it, unless someone phones me to tell me otherwise." Owen is focusing his efforts on winning his place back in the squad after scoring three goals in two games for United and remains a firm supporter of the national side. "Unfortunately you can't say a lot of the things you believe, because it will come out the wrong way and be misinterpreted," he added. "I still watch England, of course. "I still have a lot of friends in the team and you can't play for your country for as long as I did and not still have an interest in how they're doing."
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