Liverpool’s Michael Owen admits that his recent goal drought marks the lowest point of his career.
Owen has missed successive penalties in the FA Cup exit at Portsmouth and in Sunday’s Premiership defeat against Southampton.
“The Portsmouth game was one of my lowest points ever,’ admittedthe former European Footballer of the Year.
‘The manager was under intense pressure and I missed that penalty when we lost.
“That day was as bad as I have ever felt. I was so low I wanted to wrap up the season there and then.”
“I remember thinking ‘I wish someone would just give us that fourth place and we could finish it all now’.
“There’s nothing quite like taking a penalty in a match. In the week leading up to every game I take dozens and dozens of penalties in front of the gaffer.
“Before that Portsmouth game we had practised our penalties all the way through the week because it was an FA Cup replay which could have gone into a shoot-out.
“Let’s just say I was on a high, I thought I couldn’t miss a penalty that week. Then the game comes round and you miss your first out of 100. You think ‘how’s that happened?’
“I’m not making excuses, or anything, but everything was against me on the day. It was about five minutes before I could take the kick, and there was a swirling wind as well. But I am always disappointed to miss a chance from 12 yards.”
“Apart from the odd moment, I always look forward to playing and achieving.
“We are still in the Uefa Cup and we have got to get into the Champions League. They are still targets to aim for.
“I could think of many players who are worse off, players with teams who are 13th or 14th who can’t go down and can’t get into Europe.
“Actually, it must be even worse if they are fighting against relegation, I am one of the lucky ones.”
“I suppose I don’t relax. I go home and, at the back of my mind, whatever I do, I am scoring goals.
“If I am at home and playing with the baby, I’m thinking ‘don’t bend over too long because you might hurt your back and you may not be able to play’.
There hass been speculation in recent months that Owen -who has yet to sign a new deal at Anfield – will leavethe club at the end of the season. However, the England striker insists his commitment to the casuse is as great as ever.
“That’s the life you live as a footballer and you live it for 10 years,’ he continued. ‘I’m obsessed with playing for Liverpool and scoring goals.
“I do everything in my power to make that possible, you may think that is pressure but I do not see it that way.
“I love doing what I am doing, I see it as a joy. Scoring goals gives you the biggest feeling in the world. I don’t do it because I have got to score goals, I do it because I love it.”