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Owen still out in the cold

Michael Owen will again be overlooked by Fabio Capello even though England will be missing four forwards for their next European Championship tie against Montenegro.

Ferguson hails Owen improvement
Carter: Bent deserves recognition

England are without Wayne Rooney, Jermain Defoe, Theo Walcott and Bobby Zamora for the game, which takes place on October 12, while Gabriel Agbonlahor has been struggling with calf and groin injuries.

It leaves England with only Darren Bent, Peter Crouch and Carlton Cole as established strikers, yet ESPNsoccernet understands Owen - who has scored three goals in his last two appearances - will not come under consideration until he establishes himself in the first team at Manchester United.

Newcastle striker Andrew Carroll, who has yet to receive a senior call-up, is a candidate for the squad but his availability depends on England Under-21 boss Stuart Pearce.

The Under-21 side take on Romania in a European Championship play-off over two legs and, although the first leg at Carrow Road on Friday presents no problems, Pearce will also be keen to use Carroll for the return, which clashes with the Montenegro game.

ESPNsoccernet can reveal that Pearce and Capello will hold a meeting on Thursday to discuss Carroll as well as Jack Wilshere, who is in outstanding form for Arsenal.

An England insider said: "The issue is whether Andy Carroll and Jack Wilshere will play a part for the England senior team and, if that is the case, whether they can be released by Stuart Pearce, who will need both of them badly for such vital play-offs.

"The Under-21s play their first leg on Friday, when England don't play, so it's possible they could play for the Under-21s in the first leg and then join up with the seniors."

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