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Eriksson feels for Owen


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Sven Goran Eriksson has wished Michael Owen a speedy recovery from his injury problems.

 

Owen has been ruled out for at least three weeks, meaning he will miss Newcastle's trip to Manchester City on Saturday and England's Euro 2008 qualifiers against Estonia and Russia.

 

Eriksson spent five years as Owen's manager at international level and he feels it will be difficult for both Sam Allardyce and Steve McClaren to replace him.

 

"It is very difficult to find the kind of quality Michael Owen gives you," said the Manchester City boss.

 

"There are very few like him across the whole of Europe.

 

"So often I have been sat on the bench thinking the team is not playing well, then, bang, after 80 minutes, there is the winning goal.

 

"He can score from absolutely nowhere. He moves into space at exactly the right time and while he should not score with his head, he does it, which means he is very clever because he cannot go fighting with centre-halves.

 

"Even sitting on the bench at Real Madrid, he always seemed to score when he came on. You just do not find players like that very easily."

 

Eriksson hopes Owen will be able to steer clear of injuries once he returns to fitness, and has also backed him to regain top form.

 

He said: "I really hope Michael gets fit and starts to play football again. That is what he loves.

 

"He is still only 27, so he has a lot of years left in his career but over the last 18 months or so, he has been very unlucky.

 

"I know him well and he is a really nice lad. I was so happy for him when he played well for both England and Newcastle recently."

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