Michael Owen says Sir Alex Ferguson has told him he has a "big part to play" in Manchester United's impending season.

The 31-year-old striker recently penned a one-year extension on his Old Trafford deal after joining the club from Newcastle in 2009.

Owen saw his first-team opportunities restricted last term, taking a back seat to Ferguson's preferred partnership of Wayne Rooney and Javier Hernandez.

But the former England international says he has been assured by the manager that he is in his plans for the new campaign.

He told Sky Sports News: "The manager spoke to me just prior to the end of the season and said that he wanted me to stay and saw that I had a big part to play next season, which is obviously why I signed the extra year option that I had in my original contract.

"I was delighted to hear that, for starters, and then obviously to agree to it. I've said many times, the only way to go from a club like this is down."

Owen believes there will be plenty of games to share around this season and does not expect to be kicking his heels.

"We do play more games than most teams," he added. "We get to the latter stages in a lot of cup competitions so there's a lot of games to go around.

"My first season was fantastic, I played an awful lot of games. Last year was a little bit quieter, everyone seemed to be fit and playing well.

"Obviously the goals that were being scored by everyone else didn't allow you to get that look-in. But I still had some great times and hopefully this year is going to be the same."