Michael Owen has admitted to becoming frustrated at being left on the bench so often since joining Real Madrid.

The former Liverpool striker has started only one full match – against Espanyol – since the start of the season. He appeared as a substitute for the injured Raul in the season opener against Mallorca, setting up a goal for Ronaldo, played nine minutes against Osasuna and 22 against Numancia.

“I don’t want to go on not playing,” he told a press conferece on Thursday.

“But I don’t have a crystal ball to know when I’ll be able to play.

“I was happy after my first five or six games with the chances that I had. I didn’t arrive here expecting to get a game in every match,” he stressed.

“And for the moment I’m keeping the smile on my face. I don’t consder myself the fourth striker (behind Ronaldo, Raul and Fernando Morientes) but as one of the four strikers.

“The season’s got a long way to go and I hope to be picked by the end of the year.”

Owen admitted that the resignation of coach Jose Antonio Camacho after just three matches, had been a blow.

“I was quite unfortunate because you don’t expect to come to a new club and get that but we are all professionals,” he added.

“There is no other way but to move on and do well for the new coach.

“I didn’t want him to leave.”