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News - 2011-09-21
Ferguson praise for Owen
Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson believes Michael Owen is unlucky not to start more games for his star-studded side.

Owen bagged a brace in United’s 3-0 Carling Cup win over Leeds at Elland Road on Tuesday.

Ferguson said the form of the club’s other strikers meant he often had to make the difficult decision to leave Owen out.

“His ratio (of goals) per game is unbelievable, his second goal today was fantastic. I’m very pleased for Michael,” Ferguson said.

“Unfortunately for us he’s had one or two injuries and with me having (Javier) Hernandez, (Dimitar) Berbatov and (Wayne) Rooney … he’s not getting the games he deserves which is unfortunate for him, but he’s a fantastic player to have around.”

Ferguson went on to praise the performance of what was a largely second-string side at Elland Road after seeing them reach half-time with a comfortable 3-0 lead.

“Well the first half was a tremendous performance by us,” he said.

“The movement off the ball and the possession was very good. The second half, in fairness to Leeds, they kept trying and trying and showed a determined attitude and never gave in, we just wanted to make sure we were through.”

Given the comfortable scoreline, Ferguson used the tie to give several younger players their United debuts, and the Scot was pleased with the performances of left-back Ezekiel Fryers, Paul Pogba and Larnell Cole.

“They did well. Young Fryers did very well, showed good composure and wasn’t phased by it,” he said.

“That’s really good because you always want to see what the temperament is like as the atmosphere here, as you know, is very hostile.”

“Paul Pogba came on at half time and had a good 45, young Larnell Cole came on near the end which is good for him; he’s a very young under-18 player and was the youngest of the players coming on.”

“It’s good for them to get a taste of the atmosphere and get a taste of what the first team is like.”

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