Sir Alex Ferguson has urged Michael Owen to be patient in his quest for a starting spot at Manchester United.

Owen has started just one Barclays Premier League game and scored one goal since his shock summer move to Old Trafford, and it seems unlikely he will play in Istanbul on Tuesday night as United open their bid to reach a third successive Champions League final when they take on Besiktas.

"Michael hasn't been involved, and I've explained that to him," said Ferguson. "The season hasn't really started - and because of the internationals we haven't been playing Saturday and Wednesday, as we normally would, so Michael doesn't really come into the equation because we're still trying to get the blend between Wayne Rooney and Dimitar Berbatov."

With Cristiano Ronaldo sold to Real Madrid for a world record £80million, there were some doubts about Rooney's ability to fill the gap.

Such questions are no longer being asked, the England star on target once again at the weekend as United brushed aside Tottenham.

"Wayne has started well with his scoring," said Ferguson. "We need a couple of players to get us more than 20 goals this season. Wayne always wants to score goals. He just needs consistency.

"He scores in bunches of sixes and sevens, then goes quiet for a few weeks. We just need that consistency of goals, like we used to get from Ruud van Nistelrooy and Andy Cole."

The win at Spurs appeared to be a signal United would prosper without Ronaldo. Yet some continue to claim otherwise, a stance Ferguson finds difficult to understand.

"Some guy at the weekend said this was the worst United team in years," he said.

"That was a beauty. Maybe it is. Maybe we'll only win the league."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

Topics:
Tottenham Hotspur
European News
Dimitar Berbatov
Football
Michael Owen
Premier League
Alex
UEFA Champions League
Manchester United
Cristiano Ronaldo
Wayne Rooney
Andy Cole
Ruud van Nistelrooy