McClaren sprung a major surprise on Sunday when he recalled Heskey to international duty for the first time in three years as he seeks a solution to his massive goalscoring problems ahead of this week's Euro 2008 qualifier with Israel.
It is understood that while McClaren congratulated Owen on his performance at St James' Park when he fired a late winner against Wigan, the decision to bring Heskey back into the fold was the coach's decision alone.
Wigan striker Heskey earned the last of his 43 caps against France in the Euro 2004 finals, while his previous call-up was for the matches with Azerbaijan and Northern Ireland in March 2005.
"Emile is a player with a lot of international experience and has played many times with Michael Owen in the past," McClaren told the Football Association's official website thefa.com.
"He has been in good form for Wigan this season. He played very well against Sunderland recently and I saw him play well against Newcastle on Saturday.
"While he has been out of the squad for a few years, I have spoken with (Wigan manager) Chris Hutchings who has been hugely impressed with him and I think he deserves to be recalled.
"We need his experience at this time."