London: Tony Pulis has dismissed suggestions that he might regret bringing Michael Owen to Stoke, despite the former England striker announcing his intention to retire at the end of the season.
Owen has had a largely forgettable spell at the Britannia Stadium, having notched just one goal in seven appearances and has had to overcome the sort of injury problems that have plagued him throughout his career.
Pulis has been pleased though with the impact Owen has had at the club, rebuking suggestions that it could be a regrettable signing.
"Not at all. He has been fantastic around the place," Pulis told reporters. "He has been a great signing - if you look at it financially, it has been a great deal for the football club in lots of respects.
"Michael was really unlucky at the beginning of the season, picking up those couple of injuries.
"If he had got through that and pushed on, then we might be talking about different things now. But it is what has happened to Michael over the past few years."
Pulis also lauded Owen`s career and said he hoped the 33-year-old would go on to have more success in whatever capacity he chooses to move into.
He added: "I was fortunate enough to be at St Etienne when England played Argentina and Michael scored that great goal [in the 1998 World Cup].
"From there to here, he has had a fantastic career. What he has to do now is put that behind him and decide what he is going to do in the future, and make sure he gives everything to that and is really positive going into it.
"He`ll find it difficult not playing, without a question of a doubt - every footballer that has to hang his boots up will get that passion to want to go and play again.
"But Michael has to decide what he wants to do and then I`m sure he will give it his best, and that will be good enough, whatever career he goes into - whether it is coaching, management, if he wants to be an agent, a horse owner, whatever."