Football News

Pearce: Cap right to omit Owen

England Under-21 boss Stuart Pearce believes Fabio Capello was right to leave Michael Owen out of his latest senior England squad.

The 89-cap 40-goal England striker was not included in Capello's last get-together despite making his Newcastle comeback after injury.

And after injuries to Emile Heskey, Peter Crouch and Carlton Cole ahead of Wednesday's game against Ukraine, Capello has refused to call up Owen, raising question marks over his international future.

However, Pearce believes Capello was right to omit Owen, citing a lack of fitness and form for his struggling club side.

When asked if Pearce had an opinion on Owen's omission, he replied: "Yeah the same as Fabio's. He hadn't played enough football.

"The one thing Fabio doesn't do is shut the door for anyone. It's been mentioned maybe that certain individuals may be out of time and that the door has been shut, but that's not the case.

"I don't find that. They are not the words that Fabio uses and his actions are not like that either. Anyone that's on form that's fit and playing for their club will get the opportunity.

"He's certainly shown that with the squad of U21s where he's been happy to call up the likes of Gabby (Agbonlahor), James (Milner), Theo (Walcott) and Aaron (Lennon) and Joe (Hart). All of these players have been given the opportunity because their form is good enough."

Pearce was quick to deny the talk of Owen's international career being over and is sure the former Liverpool and Real Madrid striker will be back in the fold once he proves his fitness.