Hargreaves dreaming of World Cup

BY foxsports • March 18, 2010

Owen Hargreaves admits he needs to make quick progress if he is to achieve his dream of making England's World Cup squad.

The Manchester United midfielder has not played a first-team game since September 2008, but he is nearing a return from a long-term knee problem.

He missed an intended outing for the reserves last week, but may feature for United's second string against their Burnley counterparts on Thursday.

And, with time running out to prove his fitness ahead of the World Cup in June, the 29-year-old accepts he must soon be back in the United first team to have any chance of being picked by Fabio Capello.

"The World Cup is an incentive. Absolutely," Hargreaves told the Daily Telegraph.

"But I need to see progress now, pretty quick, for the World Cup to become even a realistic option."

During Hargreaves' absence this season, Wayne Rooney has been spearheading United's charge for honours and the striker's improvement has been praised by his team-mate.

Hargreaves added: "He has always had great potential, but with age and experience, he manages himself better throughout the game with the distances he covers, where he needs to be when the ball gets out wide.

"It's no coincidence that most of his goals are through headers because he is always in the box.

"At times, he has played on the wing because he is so unselfish and does so much work for the team. But a player of his calibre needs to play up front, centre-forward. He's been exceptional.

"The manager picks players with hunger like Roy Keane and Ryan Giggs, who is still around at 35.

"I'm sure there have been a lot of people with the same ability as Ryan, but how many are willing to make the sacrifices? Most can't. A lot of people get caught up in the trappings that come with the game."

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