The goal touch has returned for Michael Owen and he tells us it's no coincidence that he's getting ahead with his head.
The goal touch returned for Michael Owen on Wednesday night as he found the net twice in Liverpool's 3-0 win over Portsmouth.
The England striker has been on somewhat of a barren run of late, scoring only three goals in his last 18 outings. During this time he has also seen two penalties stopped on the south-coast, against Portsmouth in The FA Cup and their local rivals Southampon on Sunday.
However, against Pompey in the Premier League at Anfield, he weighed in with a brace proving that he is still very much head boy.
For Owen, who stands at only 5ft 8in tall, scored a bullet header to complete a successful night for the Reds, moving them up to fifth in the Premiership.
Highly respected and regarded as one of the most lethal strikers in European football, not everyone has noticed that, although Owen regularly gives away a height advantage to his markers, the 24 year-old has an canny knack of scoring with his head for both Liverpool and England. In fact, five out of his last six goals for the Three Lions have been headers.
The most recent came against Liechtenstein, with Owen superbly glancing home a Steven Gerrard cross to help England to a 2-0 victory at Old Trafford.
He also scored spectacularly with his head against Croatia at Ipswich, this time from a David Beckham cross.
"I've been really pleased to score so many headers because it's something I've been working on," Michael told TheFA.com when we asked him about him his happy knack.
"When I was younger I looked at my game and decided the things I needed to improve on were my left foot and my heading.
"I've worked really hard on both and it's paying off."
Owen's achievements are all the more remarkable when you consider that the Liverpool striker, who has 24 goals for his country, didn't score a single header for England until 2002. And by that time he had already racked up 15 international goals.
He broke his duck with a goal against Paraguay in April 2002, rising to powerfully head home a Steven Gerrard free-kick after only four minutes of a match that England won 4-0.
Owen took particular pride in that goal, scored in front of his club's own fans at Anfield. And he reveals it was no fluke - because he had made a concerted effort to practise the art of heading, both in training and in his spare time.
"It was obviously something I had to improve on," he said. "When you have got incredible crossers of the ball like David Beckham and Steven Gerrard in the England side it is vital that you are able to take advantage.
"With the quality of crosses coming in it's a dream for any striker and it doesn't matter whether you are tall or not when the balls are that good. It's all about timing."
The Liverpool man has scored six headers in all for Sven's side, and each time he has ended up on the winning team.