Michael Owen insists he is hungry enough to be a success at Manchester United.
Sir Alex Ferguson sprang a major surprise when he turned to Owen to fill the attacking void created by the departures of Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez as, at 29 - and with four unsuccessful years at Newcastle behind him - Owen was in the process of being written off as a star name.
However, the fourth-highest goalscorer in England history claims he still has plenty to aim for, saying "The talk doesn't hurt you when you believe in yourself. I know I am hungry to do well. If this challenge does not put a spring in your step and a smile on your face, nothing will."
He added: "Having a manager like Sir Alex Ferguson and a club like this coming in for you says it all. I still believe I can do well in a top team like Manchester United."
Ferguson has come up against Owen enough times down the years to know all about his prowess in front of goal.
What many fans are concerned about is the former Liverpool star's fitness record.
Owen bristles when it is mentioned, launching into a lengthy defence of his injury record and hitting back at those who say he is always on the treatment table.
"It does irritate me that so many people have doubts," he said. "But if there is one thing I am angered by, the injury thing would be it.
"There is no doubt I have had injuries in my career. But there is a long list of players that have had a broken metatarsal.
"I was foolish trying to rush back for the World Cup and my leg had just come out of plaster. But I played 33 and 32 games in the last two years in a team that was not in Europe and did not go on a decent cup run. Still I was continually labelled injury prone, which gets up my nose."
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