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Last Updated: Friday, 25 May 2007, 22:32 GMT 23:32 UK
Sharp Owen set for England return
Michael Owen
Owen says he is physically fit
Fit-again striker Michael Owen says he is in good shape as he targets a place in England's squad for the forthcoming games with Brazil and Estonia.

Owen made an impressive return to international action as England B beat Albania 3-1 at Turf Moor on Friday.

"I feel sharp and, if given the chance, I feel confident when in front of goal," said the Newcastle player.

"I had one good opportunity in the first half and just put it wide but I feel happy with the night's work."

Owen's last appearance in an England shirt came 11 months ago, when he suffered a serious knee injury in a World Cup group match against Sweden.

His return is timely given that England coach Steve McClaren will be without Wayne Rooney (suspension) and Andy Johnson (injured) for the Euro 2008 qualifier against Estonia on 6 June.

McClaren is due to announce his squad for the friendly against Brazil at Wembley and the clash in Estonia at noon on Saturday.

My knee feels great and my body feels great and it is just a matter of playing and getting sharper and sharper

Michael Owen

Owen squandered one early opportunity but laid on the final goal for Stewart Downing - his second of the game after replacing Aaron Lennon, who twisted his knee.

"I am happy to have played the 90 minutes. It will hopefully make me sharper and sharper," said Owen, who captained the side.

"I've been out of action for nearly a year and this was only my fourth game since coming back, so I am never going to be at my total best, but I feel my touch is decent.

"I feel ready for the two games coming up. I've played three games for Newcastle and one here tonight. I'm fit physically. I don't think anyone can say 'you don't look fit physically'.

"My knee feels great and my body feels great and it is just a matter of playing and getting sharper and sharper.

"How long will it take to get that sharpness back? Who knows? If I get the balls whizzed in the box and score a couple of goals, everyone will say 'he looks back to his best'.

If we had wanted to go and score more goals it might have been possible

Michael Owen

"In reality it might take 10 games or I might be there now and am just bubbling under, waiting for a few chances and a lot of the ball in my area."

Owen was full of praise for England's overall performance which saw Alan Smith net the opener to stake his claim for a place in the full side.

"I thought the team performance was decent," he added. "Albania played particularly well in the first half but we knew that they are a decent team.

"The full side played them a few years ago and they were quite tough then, home and away. For the B team to beat them 3-1 was quite good.

"I thought we were quite comfortable. They probably wasted a lot of their energy in the first half and we dominated in the second half.

"If we had wanted to go and score more goals it might have been possible but this game came at the end of a long season for some players."

SEE ALSO
England B 3-1 Albania
24 May 07 |  Internationals
Shepherd tells Owen to stay loyal
10 May 07 |  Newcastle United
Newcastle comeback delights Owen
01 May 07 |  Newcastle United


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