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Owen Hargreaves - back

It's been a tough few years for Owen Hargreaves: ever since he moved to Manchester United he has been plagued with injuries, and hasn't played a proper game of football for over three years. That was until last night at least, as the former United man scored for Manchester City in their 2-0 win over Birmingham City in the Carling Cup.

The former England international played 57 minutes and opened the scoring with a spectacular 22-yard strike, prompting the City fans to chant 'Fergie, sign him up, and he paid tribute to his new employers, who he thanked for showing faith in him and giving him a change of scenery.

'It was essential to get a change of scenery. I feel good,' said Hargreaves. 'It's my first real game action in, I think, three years and four months - which is a bit frightening in itself. [But] I put in a lot of hard work in the summer.

'I've been here three weeks and played two games in six days. We did an in-house game last week, last Thursday.

'They (the medical team at City) have done a great job so far, just easing me in and this is an important progression. Football work is more intensive than individual training [but] whatever these guys think is good going forward.

'It's important to get back into a team situation on a big pitch. Just getting used to basic things you do in the game. All in all it was a great exercise for me.'

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