Newcastle United boss Sam Allardyce is furious after Michael Owen suffered a thigh strain on Friday in action for England.

"I don't like having a go at Steve (McClaren) because he's a mate of mine but I just didn't see the need to pick Michael against Austria," said Allardyce.

"It wasn't a question of assessing the lad's fitness because he had proved himself playing for Newcastle. Michael had fully recovered from his hernia after missing only one match and had really worked hard building up his fitness. But now this is something entirely new - an injury that couldn't have come at a worse time for Newcastle or England."

He added: "I appreciate Steve is under a lot of pressure, but it hasn't got any less now that Michael will miss what could be a crucial game against Croatia on Wednesday.

"But it hasn't made my job any easier either. I appreciate players can pick up injuries in any game and this could have happened next Wednesday. But he wasn't really needed on Friday and that's not being wise after the event."