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Owen: I should have left Manchester United a year earlier

The 32-year-old striker has admitted that last season was a disappointing end to his time at Old Trafford but has set his sights on impressing at new club Stoke

Stoke City striker Michael Owen has admitted that he should have moved on from Manchester United a year ago.

Another injury-hit campaign meant Owen started just four games for the Red Devils last season, as Danny Welbeck, Wayne Rooney and Javier Hernandez impressed in his place.

But, whilst the 32-year-old believes he should have switched clubs last summer, he has insisted he enjoyed his time at Old Trafford.

Owen told the Daily Mirror: “People say I should have gone earlier, after two years, but in those first couple of years I had some great memories, scoring cup final goals, hat-tricks in Champions League and the winner against Man City.

“People conveniently forget all that and talk about all the time I was on the bench.

“The manager said to me that I would have a big role to play and he wanted me to stay. It was great to hear that from someone like Sir Alex Ferguson. What can you do when a manager says that?

“But in hindsight, that extra year, I might’ve been better if I had moved, in many ways.”

The Chester-born forward also expressed no bitterness to United boss Sir Alex Ferguson over his failure to secure more time on the pitch.

“I’ve never been one to complain,” he added. “I scored a hat-trick in one game and didn’t start the next, but that goes to show how good the players were.

“I’d be foolish to think, at 30 or 31, I was going to play ahead of Wayne Rooney and the top players there.

“I didn’t take it as a slight on me. It was more the other way and the manager suggesting I could be at a top club with some of the best players in the world.

“Of course, you want to play more and get out there, but you’ll never hear me complain about not starting after scoring a hat-trick. But if I score a hat-trick here, you’d probably expect to start.”

10/3 Michael Owen is 10/3 to score anytime against Manchester City with bet365

The former England international is adamant he has made the right choice in joining the Staffordshire side ahead of a potential debut against Manchester City on Saturday.

He said: “I’m 100 per cent confident I have made the right decision to come here. The manager has been interested in me for a while and he tried to bring me here before I went to United.

“I know him and I know some of the players. I played with Crouchy a number of times for England and we did pretty damn well together.

“Inevitably it’s Man City on Saturday and everyone knows that’s one of the clubs I had an exciting time against in the last few years.

“But it goes no further as I don’t believe that it’s fated or anything like that. I might not even be in the squad so we’ll see what the manager decides.”