Owen has benefited from the dietary guidance of the Reds’ sports science department as he plays the waiting game in the wings.
“Physically, you have to prepare for any opportunity you get as well as mentally,” said Owen.
“That is hard because you are in match-day squads all the time, so you prepare with the team, eat the same, do the same things they do but when you don’t play you don’t use the energy. You are probably getting more days off but putting more energy food in your system and it is a bit of a vicious circle.
“After doing that five or six times you don’t exactly put on weight but you have to be careful. Your body hasn’t played 90 minutes though you are preparing it all the time to do that.
“There is more to it than people thinking ‘well he is fresh and should score a hat-trick’.
“It is tough and it is also a challenge for the staff at United. It is a test for the medical people and the sports science people to get the balance right. They have to manage it to ensure when your chance does come along your body is ready for it.”