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Serie A

Ferguson prepared to let Owen wait for chance

Sir Alex Ferguson says Michael Owen must be patient in his quest for a starting spot at Manchester United. Owen has started just one Premier League game - the defeat at Burnley - and scored one goal, at Wigan, the fourth of five United goals at the DW Stadium, and it seems unlikely he will play as United open their bid to reach a third successive Champions League final when they take on Besiktas on Tuesday night.

"Michael hasn't been involved, and I've explained that to him," said Ferguson. "The season hasn't really started - and because of the internationals we haven't been playing Saturday and Wednesday, as we normally would. So Michael doesn't really come into the equation, because we're still trying to get the blend between Wayne Rooney and Dimitar Berbatov."

Rooney has been flying so far, and the England star was on target once again at the weekend as United brushed aside Tottenham to make it five goals in five game.

"Wayne has started well with his scoring," acknowledged Ferguson. "We need a couple of players to get us more than 20 goals this season. Wayne always wants to score goals. He just needs consistency. He scores in bunches of sixes and sevens, then goes quiet for a few weeks. We just need that consistency of goals, like we used to get from Ruud van Nistelrooy and Andy Cole."

Ferguson continues to shrug off those doubters who say that the sale of Cristiano Ronaldo in the summer is set to derail United's hopes of landing trophies. "Some guy at the weekend said this was the worst United team in years," he said. "That was a beauty. Maybe it is. Maybe we'll only win the league."


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