Shearer tips Owen to make England return

MICHAEL Owen showed his commitment to the Newcastle cause last week, and now Alan Shearer hopes his friend and former team-mate can once again become a key part of the England team.

MICHAEL Owen showed his commitment to the Newcastle cause last week, and now Alan Shearer hopes his friend and former team-mate can once again become a key part of the England team.

The Magpies captain has cut a frustrated figure recently. The form of Shola Ameobi and Obafemi Martins barred his path back into the first team after a groin injury, causing some to question whether Owen would run his contract down at the end of the season.

But in his first game back the 28-year-old played in a largely defensive role off Martins – a sign, Shearer believes, of his loyalty and value to United.

The former Newcastle and England skipper said: “Michael’s goal-scoring record speaks for itself. If you give him chances he will score goals. His performance against Wigan probably sums Michael up. He was on the pitch for ten minutes but he missed a sitter, had a chance saved and then scored.

“He is not frightened of missing chances whereas other strikers miss a chance and you will see them shrivel up.” Owen has surprisingly been overlooked by Fabio Capello at international level. Shearer, though, said: “It is a difficult one at the moment but if it was up to me he would be in my squad.

“But you can’t say anything against the England manager because most of the results he has had have been fabulous and long may that continue. But I don’t think Michael Owen’s international career is over by any stretch of the imagination.”

STUART RAYNER

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