Owen can earn Capello call
Michael Owen has been told that Fabio Capello has not closed the door on his England career.
Last Updated: 06/10/08 3:51pm
England goalkeeping coach Ray Clemence insists Fabio Capello has not closed the door on Michael Owen's international career.
The Newcastle United striker was again omitted from the Italian's squad on Sunday for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Kazakhstan and Belarus despite three goals in his last four outings.
With Capello going for Emile Heskey, Wayne Rooney, Peter Crouch and Jermain Defoe up front, it has been suggested Owen may not get another opportunity to add to his 40-goal tally for his county.
However, Clemence knows the Magpies' hit-man is still in Capello's thoughts and that he sent right-hand man Franco Baldini to watch him in action against Everton at Goodison Park on Sunday.
"Fabio quite rightly has said that no door is closed on any player," he told Sky Sports News. "He just likes to see players in form and doing the things that they are good at.
"Of course it's a difficult time for Michael at Newcastle and for all the players there. Michael just needs to do what he's always done, get his head down, work as hard as he can and score goals.
In his thoughts
"I know that Franco Baldini watched him up at Everton. Fabio was going to watch him last week, but his flight was cancelled so he couldn't get up there. He's still in Fabio's mind."
Clemence thinks those above Owen in Capello's pecking order are currently in the goals and have no reason to be axed.
"The strikers in the England squad are doing well as well. Heskey and Rooney did exceptionally well in Croatia for us," he continued.
"Peter Crouch is in form and scoring goals and Jermain Defoe is as well. So they are players that are in form.
"You can't have more than four or five strikers in the squad as well. So Fabio, at this moment in time, is going with the people that have done well for him."
Portsmouth keeper David James is expected to retain his place in goal for England's next two Group Six qualifiers.
One of James' deputies, Robert Green, had a miserable outing in West Ham's 3-1 defeat to Bolton on Sunday, but Clemence believes the former Norwich man has still had a good season.
Clemence took in Scott Carson's display for West Brom against Fulham at the weekend and he believes his prospects of adding to his two caps have increased following his Hawthorns switch.
He said: "Certainly David James has had a little indifferent time in the last two to three weeks, but he's quality. He's been playing exceptionally well for two and a bit years.
"Robert Green I know is someone else who will be talked about this weekend having made a couple of errors, but he's been playing well all season. So no problems as far as I'm concerned.
"Goalkeepers just don't go through the season not making mistakes. It's just the good and the great make less and, of course, Robert is in the spotlight this weekend as he's made them before an England game.
"I think Robert's experienced enough to know to put them behind you. He did do. He held his hands up. He knows he's made a mistake. The good goalkeeper will put them to the back of their mind.
"For a year (Carson) was at Aston Villa and he did well there, but he was only on loan. I've seen him a number of times this year and you can see the lad's confidence growing week-in, week-out. I saw him at the weekend and he did very well against Fulham."