Michael Owen insists Alan Shearer isn't to blame for Newcastle United’s relegation in 2009.
Shearer, who was in charge for the final eight games of that season, and new director of football Joe Kinnear, who had presided over the club for a little more than six months earlier in the campaign, have had a very public difference of opinion over who was responsible for the Magpies' demise.
Owen told the Evening Chronicle: "Certainly Alan Shearer was only in charge for a short period of time at the end.
"You certainly cannot blame him for us going down. It was a steady progression over a period of time more so than what Alan did.
"Everyone was really up for the fight when he came in. The enthusiasm was there and the crowd were up for it. Unfortunately, things just did not work the way we hoped."