England need major tournament joy to win fans back, says Owen

Ross McLean
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Danny Welbeck netted twice in Switzerland
FORMER England striker Michael Owen insists victory over Switzerland will not prove an instant tonic for past failings but does believe there were signs of a brighter future.

Arsenal forward Danny Welbeck netted twice as England boss Roy Hodgson named a starting eleven with an average age of 24.

Owen announced himself as the future of English football with a wonder-strike against Argentina at the 1998 World Cup and is adamant Hodgson has access to starlets worthy of similar billing.

“It’s been pretty poor for a while now,” he said. “One good result doesn’t just change that but there were chinks of light there against Switzerland and the encouraging thing was there were players that will be around for many years to come. “Sterling could be exceptional and Ross Barkley could go right to the very top. I can see those two being pivotal points in our team for years.”

Despite boasting an impressive goalscoring record for England of 40 strikes in 89 caps, Owen failed to showcase his talents in the latter stages of international competition as a so-called golden generation consistently mis-fired.

And the ex-Liverpool marksman believes full confidence will not be restored until England find a way to buck that particular trend.

He added: “We’ve all lost belief in the national team and I don’t think we’ll get that back until we do something significant at a major tournament.”