Newcastle United boss Sam Allardyce admits he's entered new territory handling striker Michael Owen.

"I've encountered no friction with Michael," he said. "What was said between us will remain private between us, but there isn't a problem. I spoke to him on a regular basis while he was with England. Michael's a quiet lad. Michael isn't someone who's chirping away all the time like some players. When we do have something to discuss, we sit down and discuss it and then we get on with it."

Allardyce was dismayed at suggestions that there had been a rift in his relationship with the club's biggest name. It was something he was keen to address.

"Media-wise, Michael's the biggest player I've ever dealt with," he said. "When you have a player like Michael, with his reputation and outstanding talent, it's more about what will get in the papers than what has actually been said. With anybody else there can be some truth in it. But most of the time (with Owen), it's exaggerated."