Owen accepts he must win over Newcastle fans

Michael Owen accepts he needs to win over Newcastle United fans after the controversy over his England commitments.

In his column for the News of the World, Owen wrote: "It's a good job I am a fairly level-headed person or it would drive me mad.

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"But I have been in the game long enough to know how things can just spiral out of control. While I was away with England last week, there were comments about release clauses in my contract, how I needed to prove myself at Newcastle and even my team-mate Joey Barton was dragged into the debate.

"He said he wanted to get fit again for Newcastle before considering a recall for England - and that was perceived as an attack on me.

"I will ignore all that for now and get on with my job."

He added: "I suppose I should be used to all this.

"It happened to me before when I was a Liverpool player.

"I broke into the England team and did well internationally almost before I had properly established myself at Anfield.

The Reds fans didn't like that because they thought I was only interested in my international career.

But I did manage to turn them around by scoring loads of goals in helping Liverpool to win an unprecedented cup treble in 2001.

For the first time the fans started chanting my name on a regular basis and I was referred to as 'Liverpool's Michael Owen' rather than 'the England striker Michael Owen'.

I guess that is the way to win over public opinion at Newcastle as well.

If I can score the goals that will help them win a trophy or two, that will prove how much I am committed to the club.

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