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Robbie Fowler

ROBBIE FOWLER wished his old Anfield team-mate well last night, but the Liverpool hero admitted he could never have made the same decision as Michael Owen.

Owen was unveiled as Old Trafford’s new number seven yesterday.

But, speaking from Australia, where he is hoping to make a long-awaited debut for Queensland Fury tomorrow, Fowler was asked if he could ever have joined Manchester United.

“No, I don’t think so,” he declared.

With both England and Australia in Ashes frenzy, it was only fitting that Fowler should try to straight-bat questions about his former Liverpool partner’s controversial decision.

But like far too many of England’s top order, his best efforts came up short.

Fowler joined Australian side North Queensland Fury in February and after three months battling hip and groin injuries, the one-time Kop idol will get his first run-out with the A-League side in Perth tomorrow against Premier League newcomers Wolves.

But while happy to wish Owen all the best on a personal level, the man they called ‘God’ was yesterday reluctant to extend the goodwill.

“Obviously I want Michael to do well but I don’t want Manchester United to do well,” said Fowler, who used to taunt United fans by signalling Liverpool’s superior European Cup tally to their bitter rivals whenever he scored against them.

“It’s a sticky situation and I don’t want to get drawn into things with Michael and Man United. Everyone knows I’m a Liverpool fan,” he added.

“But if Michael scores a lot of goals then I hope Fernando Torres scores a lot more.”

United boss Sir Alex Ferguson was once a big admirer of Fowler’s predatory instincts which saw him score more than 200 Premier League goals. But asked if he could have made a similar move to Owen, the striker said: “No, I don’t think so.

“I don’t want to go down that route as I leave myself open to criticism but Michael has done what he’s done and it’s not for me to judge what he should do or shouldn’t do. He’s a big lad.

“His record over the years has been fantastic. Again, I hope he scores a few goals but I hope they concede more.”

Fowler has been linked with another of his former team-mates, new Tranmere boss John Barnes, but he again dismissed talk of a move back to Merseyside.

“If people want to write stories that’s nothing to do with me,” he said. “The good thing is I quashed it straight away so it showed what my intentions were. Hopefully I’ve put a lot of things to bed.”

Townsville-based Fury, managed by former Rangers great Ian Ferguson, signed Fowler as their marquee player and he is one of the biggest names to join the A-League, which begins its fifth season next month.

And Fowler says is keen to make his mark.

“The last few months have been horrible,” he said.

“In terms of kicking balls I’ve not been able to do that, so hopefully there is a bit of light at the end of the tunnel and I’ve got something to look forward to.”

Owen, meanwhile, insists he is hungry enough to be a success at Manchester United.

“The talk doesn’t hurt you when you believe in yourself,” he said.

“I know I am hungry to do well. If this challenge does not put a spring in your step and a smile on your face, nothing will. Having a manager like Sir Alex Ferguson and a club like this coming in for you says it all.

“I still believe I can do well in a top team like Manchester United.”


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