Manchester United's Michael Owen has 'years left'

Manchester United striker Michael Owen stressed that his career is not winding down, following a classy Carling Cup match-winning performance at Leeds.

The former England star rarely starts for the Premier League champions, but was keen to point out he is still a threat after two goals in a 3-0 win.

"I'm still only 31 and I have a good few years left in me yet," he said.

"The pressure is on when you get into this side because you don't get many chances [to play]."

He added: "When you get picked you have to perform - or you won't see the pitch for another couple of months.

"I have had some massive games in my career but I almost feel myself getting more nervous these days.

"I don't fear my touch will go because I am doing a lot of training and putting in a lot of hard work. But even the best players in the world can have a bad game and that negative thought is definitely there in the back of your mind because you cannot put things right in three or four days time like most other players who play all the time.

"Thankfully, every time I have started I have managed to quieten people before they chirp up."

Scoring twice against Leeds took his goal streak to 11 goals in 12 starts, but he has been in the starting line-up so rarely that the run dates back to October 2009.

Owen struggled for years after the 2006 World Cup with knee ligament problems but manager Sir Alex Ferguson admitted the striker's fitness is only part of the reason for his limited role.

"Michael Owen's finishing was fantastic," said Ferguson.

"His goal ratio is unbelievable. We are very pleased with him. He has had one or two injuries but with me having Wayne Rooney, Dimitar Berbatov and Javier Hernandez, he is not getting the games he deserves and that is unfortunate."

Despite his well-taken goals at Elland Road, Owen is unlikely to keep his place when the Premier League leaders visit Stoke on Saturday.