United urge Owen patience
Mike Phelan believes Manchester United have been right to break Michael Owen in gently.
Last Updated: 29/10/09 6:06pm
Mike Phelan believes Manchester United have been right to break Michael Owen in gently following his summer move from Newcastle.
The striker has had to bide his time during the early part of the Premier League season, with Wayne Rooney and Dimitar Berbatov ahead of him in the pecking order.
He was given a starting opportunity in the Carling Cup game against Barnsley on Wednesday and responded with a fine goal to seal a 2-0 success.
It now remains to be seen whether Owen will keep his place for the home clash with Blackburn, but assistant manager Phelan has been pleased with his progress.
"Michael has come to Manchester United as it a fresh challenge for him," said Phelan.
"We can use him as and when we need to use him. He is not at the forefront of everything.
"It gives him time to prepare and be ready for games like Barnsley.
"Alternatively we can bring him on as substitute or start him in a first-team game."
Phelan thinks Owen demonstrated with his goal against Barnsley that he remains one of the deadliest finishers in the business.
"Michael is always looking and always on the move," said Phelan.
"He was quick to take the shot. He got it out of his feet quickly and caught the keeper by surprise.
"That is the quality of Michael Owen and those qualities are of benefit to us."