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All of tonights Owen articles from the Chronicle


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Why not keep it all in one article I have no idea..

Owen issues goal pledge

May 1 2007

By Lee Ryder, The Evening Chronicle


Michael Owen has vowed to shrug off the disappointment of defeat at Reading by firing in his first St James' Park goal since September 2005 against Blackburn Rovers on Saturday.


Michael Owen shows his frustration on his long-awaited return to action at Reading


Owen played 90 minutes during the 1-0 defeat at the Madejski Stadium but could not net what would have been only his eighth goal since arrving from Real Madrid.


Owen's return was one of the few bright spots for United on a night when they turned in a disappointing performance which cranked up the pressure on manager Glenn Roeder and chairman Freddy Shepherd.


The striker did have the ball in the net after just seven minutes but left the field relieved to come through the full match, yet gutted not to have netted his first Toon goal since his hat-trick against West Ham.


Now with the comeback well under way, Owen has targeted Rovers to get back on the goal trail.


He said today: "I am very much looking forward to Blackburn.


"It would have been ideal for me coming back in a home game.


"But my groin was troubling me and that's why I couldn't play against Chelsea.


"I can't be picky - I just want to play now.


"It would be great to finish off the season with a goal against Blackburn and I am really excited about the game.


"When something you love gets taken away from you it's always good to get back out with the lads, especially at St James' Park.


"I have missed the crowd and hopefully I can get back on the scoresheet."


With England fans all over the country desperate to see their main man back in the Three Lions shirt, the clamour is for Owen to return for the Estonia game on June 6.


Yet despite the importance of the Euro 2008 qualifier, Owen reassured Toon fans his only priority was club football at the moment.


He added: "I am only looking at Newcastle for the next two games.


"After you have been out for 11 months you want to play in any game that is thrown in front of you.


"I will actually find it very hard not to play in games on the beach in the summer, I've missed it that much.


"If I play two more games for Newcastle I will be available for England for selection."


With a long road to recovery now behind him, Owen is still taking nothing for granted. But after a high-octane 90 minutes of football in Berkshire, the former Liverpool man admitted: "Everything seemed fine.


"It's been a long season for all the players and I'm probably fitter than most of the lads in our dressing room."



Michael: My guilt at missing so much football

May 1 2007

By Lee Ryder, The Evening Chronicle


Michael Owen today expressed his guilt after spending 12 months away from the Newcastle United first-team picture.


The £17m striker returned to competitive action for the first team since shattering his knee at last summer's World Cup in Germany, almost a year to the day since his last appearance for United at Birmingham City.


And Owen opened his heart when he spoke of guilty feelings after spending what seems like a lifetime in the stands after his knee horror.


Owen, who enjoyed a fantastic reception from the travelling Geordie fans, told the Chronicle: "I feel guilty for the Newcastle fans, of course. I have felt guilty since I did my cruciate.


"You feel guilty for a lot of people - people who sponsor your boots and people who invest a lot of money into you, the chairman, the fans and everybody else.


"There are a lot of people I feel sorry for before myself.


"But then you have to live with it. There was nothing I could do about it - all you can do is get on with it and get to the gym and work hard.


"You have to hope for that return and hope to come back even stronger.


"Hopefully I can do that."


No sooner had Owen returned for United than his international future was questioned straight away, with many of the national Press eager to find out whether he would be available for the games against Brazil and Estonia next month.


Owen, of course, is keen to represent his country, but he sensibly dodged the club v country compensation row that has also dogged his career of late.


Owen says: "I stay out of all of that, but there is nobody more frustrated than me.


"All of that is nothing to do with me.


"I will work as hard as anybody now, I won't stop. I will keep going through to next season.


"Hopefully, I will be involved with England."




New weight is a boost

May 1 2007

By Lee Ryder, The Evening Chronicle


Michael Owen says that carrying extra weight can help him become a better player.


The Newcastle United striker says that he has put on 10 pounds since shattering his knee at the World Cup last summer, but feels it can benefit him in the Magpies' final two games of the campaign.


Owen had no problems standing up to the physical presence on offer at Reading last night, and came through a couple of heavy challenges during the 1-0 loss in Berkshire.


He said: "I have actually put on a lot of weight since I have been out, probably about 10 pounds, which is a lot for a lad who is 5ft 8in!


"I felt a different player - a much stronger player.


"I felt I could hold people off, win headers and back into people. I don't think any defender could get a free header in for the half-a-dozen balls that did come my way.


"That was actually unheard of in my younger days because I got knocked about quite a lot."


Yet although Owen was satisfied with his comeback from a fitness point of view, the result left him a little deflated.


He added: "I'm disappointed with the result, but on a personal level it's nice to be back.


"I felt quite good out there but I didn't expect 90 minutes, I was only planning on about 60.


"But obviously with two injuries and the need to nick a goal, the original plan went out of the window. I always had it in me to play 90 minutes and I don't give a monkeys that I played a full game came sooner than planned, because I have put so much work into coming back.


"I don't think there is anybody at the club as fit as me at the moment.


"I am 100% fit and I have been for a while, I have just been cautious.


"If anything, the only thing that was going to go wrong was a slight groin niggle which I picked up two weeks ago, and has cleared up.


"The knee injury is firmly behind me."






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