Capello: Owen needs more games

England manager Fabio Capello says he cannot select Manchester United striker Michael Owen in his squad for the 2010 World Cup finals unless the forward plays more games.

The 30-year-old Red Devil netted his eighth goal of the season in all competitions for Sir Alex Ferguson's side during the 3-0 victory against West Ham on Tuesday.

However, the diminutive goal-getter, who has started just five Premier League games for the Old Trafford outfit in 2009/10 - coming off the bench on 14 occasions - has conceded that time is running out for him to impress Capello enough to be included in the 23-man squad for South Africa.

And the Italian has revealed that unless the United front-man - who has featured in each of England's last three World Cup campaigns in 1998, 2002 and 2006 - gets more game time, he will not be selecting him this summer.

Owen has not played under Capello since England's friendly with France in Paris in March 2008.

"One of the players [the fans] would like to see me select is Owen," he told Gazzetta dello Sport.

"He is one of the best English goalscorers of all-time but if he doesn't play, I cannot pick him."

One player that the Italian will be picking - assuming he stays fit - is Owen's Manchester United team-mate Wayne Rooney.

The 24-year-old has been in sensational form recently, taking his goal tally to 27 in all competitions this season - with 19 coming in his last 19 outings - after scoring a pair of headers against both AC Milan and West Ham

"Wayne is an extraordinary player, he is talented and willing to learn," Capello said.

"Ferguson has taught him so much while I've only had to polish him

"I have told him that he must make sure he plays inside the box and he must continue to score goals.

"The departure of Cristiano Ronaldo from Manchester United has given Rooney more responsibility and he is now integral to their plans."

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