Medal will not embarrass United's Owen

MANCHESTER // Michael Owen will make no apologies for collecting a Premier League title medal with pride should Manchester United complete their record 19th championship triumph.

A victory at Arsenal today will nudge United towards the title and, for Owen, it would represent the first league winners' medal of his illustrious career and leave him missing only the Champions League to complete his set.

As he still requires one more appearance to qualify automatically, and only one of his nine contributions came from a place in the starting line-up, Owen, 31, accepts that there are others far more deserving of the honour.

"There are players who would be 10 times more deserving of a Premier League medal in this team than me, so it is not as though I will be flashing it around," he said.

"But there is no point being embarrassed about accepting something you have been part of. I didn't get two medals for scoring two goals in the FA Cup final in 2001. I've won plenty in my career but I've not won the two big ones. That would complete the set."

Owen's future beyond the end of the season is open to debate as it appears highly unlikely he will be offered a contract extension at United following the emergence of Javier Hernandez.

However, he still has a contribution to make given that the history of United is littered with examples of substitutes scoring late goals, the most obvious being Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who came off the bench to win the Champions League in 1999.

"Even if it is just one goal or one good performance, everyone is going to play their part," Owen said. "I suppose I am dreaming of coming off the bench and scoring the stoppage-time winner in the Champions League final.

"That is the motivation that drives me on. Every day I have to be ready and prepared to come in and do something."

* Press Association

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