Allardyce: Owen just wants to play for Newcastle

Newcastle United boss Sam Allardyce is confident Michael Owen will return to his best with every minute he spends on the pitch.

The 52-year-old said: "I don't think Michael has got anything to prove to anybody regarding how good a player he is.

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"What Michael wants to do is just stay fit and play games of football and enjoy his football again for as long as he possibly can, both with Newcastle United and with England, and try to help us be successful and try to get to a position where, when we select him on a week-to-week basis, he produces the goals we know he can.

"If we do that, then we are going to be a very, very good side throughout this year in the Premier League."

Owen's lengthy battles for fitness have been gruelling and he is still searching for match-sharpness, although that is something Allardyce is confident will return with every minute he is on the pitch.

He said: "He is a very quiet man and a very determined young man who commits himself to his rehabilitation to get fit as quickly as he possibly can.

"Now he can extend that into his rehabilitation work on a regular basis, which he will do, to make sure he stays fit, hopefully, and rekindle his obvious talent for scoring goals and playing football.

"You have got a much happier player when that happens, when he will hopefully put all fears behind him in the next few weeks, because in his mind, slightly, there will always be the doubt of 'am I going to get injured again'?

"The longer he goes without an injury, the more confidence he gets and the better and more we can get out of him."

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