Manchester United striker Michael Owen was delighted to be given the opportunity to shine after his double helped beat Leeds United in the Carling Cup third round.

The 31-year-old earned his first start of the season at Elland Road, as United's old guard secured their passage to the fourth round of a tournament they've won in three of the last six years.

The form of Wayne Rooney, and the return of Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez leaves Owen down the pecking order at Old Trafford, and the England international realises he must take every opportunity that comes his way.

“The pressure’s on,” Owen said. “You don’t get many chances and when you do get a chance, you have to perform because it’s going to be a couple of months before you see a pitch again.


 

“It’s nice to prove to yourself and everyone that you can still contribute, still play well. We’re coming into a good part of the season now, with the games coming thick and fast so hopefully the games will be shared round a bit.”

Owen has netted 16 times for United in his three-year spell at the club, and despite injury problems that blighted his career at Newcastle United, proved once again, against arch rivals Leeds, that he still possess a deadly finish in front of goal.

"It’s always nice to score, obviously, that’s what my game has been about all over the years," he added. "I also try to contribute in other areas as well and I was pleased to get the goals.

“At 31 I’ve still got a few years left in me. There are different roles you have throughout your career, and at the minute I’m doing that. I’m comfortable and trying to be a bit of an example to young kids to help them through.”

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