Manchester United striker Michael Owen is confident he still has a part to play at Old Trafford, despite being seemingly well down the pecking order at the Premier League champions.
Owen has largely been a bit-part player since arriving at Old Trafford from Newcastle United on a free transfer in the summer of 2009.
The 31-year-old forward fell behind Mexican starlet Javier Hernandez last term, with Wayne Rooney and Dimitar Berbatov already ahead of him in the queue for a striking berth.
But the former England international says he has been told by Sir Alex Ferguson that he will still have a part to play this season.
"The manager spoke to me just prior to the end of last season and said that he wanted me to stay and saw that I had a big part to play next season, which is obviously why I signed the extra year option that I had in my original contract," Owen told Sky Sports.
"I was delighted to hear that, for starters, and then obviously to agree to it. I've said many times, the only way to go from a club like this is down."
Despite featuring in just 16 matches last term, the former Liverpool forward believes that, with United once again likely to be battling on four fronts in the coming season, there should be plenty of opportunity for him to feature in the first team.
"We do play more games than most teams. We get to the latter stages in a lot of cup competitions so there's a lot of games to go around.
"My first season was fantastic, I played an awful lot of games. Last year was a little bit quieter, everyone seemed to be fit and playing well.
"Obviously the goals that were being scored by everyone else didn't allow you to get that look-in. But I still had some great times and hopefully this year is going to be the same."
Owen scored just two Premier League goals in 2010/11, away to Bolton Wanderers in September and in the final match of the campaign against Blackpool.comments