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Stoke signing Owen not expecting automatic first team berth

New Stoke City signing Michael Owen accepts a first team spot will not be a formality. The 32-year-old endured three injury-blighted years at Old Trafford and now feels he has to prove himself at the Britannia Stadium despite his experiences with United and previously with Liverpool, Real Madrid, Newcastle and England.

He told Stoke City Player: "There are many strikers at the club, I'm not expecting it to be an easy ride.

"I'll have to work, obviously, to play any part. I'm prepared to do that.

"There are a lot of top players at the club, so I'm hopefully going to fit in well with the squad and have a good season."

Owen was strongly linked with the Potters throughout the summer and more recently with former club Liverpool, boyhood team Everton and Sunderland.

Owen first held talks with boss Tony Pulis earlier in the summer and is now keen to start working under him.

Owen said: "I met the manager two or three months ago. We were singing from the same hymn sheet in many ways.

"It is important to have a healthy respect for your manager and understand what he wants and different things. I feel as if I'll get that here with Tony Pulis.

"We had a good chat and it's just a shame it took a few months after that before I signed.

"But anyway, we're here now and I'm looking forward to it."

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Dave Williams

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