Michael Owen was speaking at the Soccerex conference in Manchester.
Former England striker Michael Owen believes the country’s fans have lost faith in the national team because of it’s continuous failures in international tournaments, BBC Sport reports.
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England have failed to reach the semi-final of a tournament since 1996 and haven’t been victorious in a major international competition since 1966.
“Everyone in this room, the fans, us, we have all lost belief in the national team,” the 34-year-old said.
“I don’t think we will get that back until we do something significant at a major tournament.”
Owen’s comments come after England’s 2-0 victory over Switzerland in last night’s European Championship qualifier. The former Liverpool front man was encouraged by what he saw in Basle but that result alone isn’t enough to change the mood surrounding the national team.
“It has been pretty poor for a while now,” he added. “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.”
Out of the players currently playing for England, Owen picked out Raheem Sterling and Ross Barkley as players who have the quality to take the Three Lions deep into major tournaments.
“Sterling could be absolutely exceptional and Ross Barkley could go right to the very top of the game,” he said.
“I can see those two taking us quite far and being pivotal points in our team for years to come.”
The former striker believes one of the main problems facing young players in England is the fact that they can’t get into the first teams of top Premier League clubs because of all the foreign talent currently in the English game.
“The only way you can make it is to go on loan, unless you are a freak of nature,” Owen said.
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