Thursday, March 27, 2008

Owen believes Beckham can play on

England striker Michael Owen insists David Beckham is good enough to carry on and add to his 100 England caps.

Beckham was replaced in the 63rd minute after a subdued display in Wednesday's 1-0 defeat by France in Paris.

"I think David can keep playing for England, he's still got the quality," Owen told BBC Sport.

"He's also still got the appetite to play for England and I think he showed enough to demonstrate that he can go on and win more caps."

Owen, who came on as a second-half substitute, added: "We're all pleased for him that he got 100 caps and I would like to congratulate him because he has been an outstanding player for us and deserves the honour.

"He is fit, hungry and has still got that fantastic right foot. Nothing much changes there."

The Newcastle striker earned his 88th cap on Wednesday as he made his first appearance under Fabio Capello, having been left on the bench against Switzerland.

Owen stated: "Everyone likes to impress the manager and I'm no different. The same applies to starting the games. I think any player would prefer to start rather than come on as sub and I've always been like that.

"We have got a spate of friendlies coming up, which is disappointing in a way because we would rather be getting ready for Euro 2008.

"But this means there is plenty of time to experiment and hopefully I will get the chance to impress the manager and try to make sure I'm in the starting line-up for some of those games."

Owen believes England can take some positives from the defeat against France and believes he is returning to full sharpness as he puts together a sequence of matches at club level after injury troubles.

He commented: "We were up against a good side in France. I thought they played really well but we played well ourselves.

"They didn't create too many chances or dominate us that much - I actually felt it was quite a close game.

"The manager wasn't too disappointed because he thought we played reasonably well.

"I'm happy to be back playing games again and I'm feeling better about myself with each game I play. I've got some goals for Newcastle in the last few weeks, so that always helps with confidence."

Source: BBCi

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