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Owen eager for Stoke involvement

Michael Owen hopes to play a greater part for Stoke City over the second half of the season - starting against Manchester City in the FA Cup this weekend.

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Owen, 33, appears to have banished the injury concerns that have hampered him since a summer move to the Britannia Stadium, and he finally recorded his first goal for the club against Swansea last weekend.

After the goal, which was his 150th in the Premier League, and 45 minutes of a friendly against Derby on Tuesday, Owen is hoping for a part in the fourth-round tie with Roberto Mancini's side.

And Stoke manager Tony Pulis feels the recent run from the former England striker and new-found confidence can benefit his team.

"That was a big goal for Michael because I know how much it meant to him to reach 150 in the Premier League," Pulis said.

"It's a great achievement, and even with all his experience it won't do any harm psychologically. This latest 45 minutes just keeps him ticking over nicely.

"He's come through it all right, as did quite a few other senior players, so it was a worthwhile exercise."

Owen feared he would never reach the 150-goal milestone and he now wants to push on and make an important contribution during the rest of the campaign.

"You do worry and think it isn't meant to be but thankfully I got there and it's another good achievement for me. Hopefully the second half of the season can be a lot better for me," he said.


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