Pearce backs Capello's Owen snub

England assistant coach Stuart Pearce has backed Fabio Capello’s decision to exclude striker Michael Owen from the squad.

Owen hasn’t been called up since last March’s 1-0 friendly defeat in France, after which the striker told reporters to “ask the manager” about his selection policy.

However, Pearce has backed Capello’s pragmatic approach. “My view is the same as Fabio’s, he hasn’t played enough football,” he said.

“If the manager says that’s the reason behind Michael not playing, then that’s the reason.”

Pearce was also quick to quash rumours that Capello has decided Owen’s international career is over. “The one thing Fabio doesn’t do is shut the door. It has been mentioned that certain individuals have had the door closed, but they are not Fabio’s words.”

Following injuries to Emile Heskey, Peter Crouch and Carlton Cole during Saturday’s friendly romp over Slovakia, Tottenham striker Darren Bent was called up ahead of Owen for Wednesday’s qualifier against Ukraine. 

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