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Barca dealing with Copa drama

Barcelona
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By ESPN Staff

We've still got work to do, warns Owen

Michael Owen has warned England still have work to do before they can begin celebrating securing a spot at the European Championship finals after he joined his country's exclusive 40-goal club.

Owen has emulated Jimmy Greaves, Sir Bobby Charlton and Gary Lineker in reaching that milestone thanks to last night's double strike against Russia at Wembley.

It is a milestone Owen is proud of reaching nine years after making his debut for the Three Lions.

But he is aware that of paramount importance is obtaining a positive result against Russia in the return game in Moscow next month.

And the Newcastle striker saw enough from Guus Hiddink's side in defeat to suggest the rematch will be far from a formality.

Owen said: 'I've been playing for my country for nearly 10 years now and hopefully there are a few more to come but to get to 40 goals is a great milestone.

'It's something to look back on with pride and only three others have achieved it.

'You always enjoy scoring but it takes a lot of hard work to get into that position. You don't get many chances in international football.'

He added: 'We knew it would be harder against Russia than against Israel at the weekend. We had fewer chances but were more clinical.

'But, even though we defeated Russia 3-0, they weren't bad and I am sure it will be really tough in Moscow.

'Although we played well, they did cause us a few problems and we are well aware of the threat they will possess in just over a month's time.'

Nevertheless, Owen is aware of how the gloom has been lifted after back-to-back wins and promising performances against Israel and Russia.

He said: 'We couldn't have asked for anymore out of the 10 days together. We would have snapped people's hands off if they said we would win both games.

'We lost to Germany but always said these two games were the important ones and we produced when it mattered. We know we've got the quality. All too often, we haven't shown it.

'To win them both 3-0 is a massive confidence boost. We are in a much healthier position in the group than we were a couple of weeks ago.

'It's not often you get to enjoy a game with England and can take your foot off the gas but we've done that in the last two matches.

'But there is still plenty of work to be done.'