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Newcastle's Owen angry with England row

"People who label me as someone who is just trying to do this or that are wrong," he argued. "I have always pushed myself. I have played when I have been hurt for club and country. My career is short, so I am hungry to play every game and score every goal.

"I just cannot fathom the way things have snowballed. I thought people would think it was fantastic that I had got back in eight days. I thought they would be talking about how I had gone through the pain barrier to get back so quickly.

"Instead, it has been turned into a negative. Maybe the speed of my recovery has contributed to people thinking it cannot be right.

"If I was only interested in playing for England, I would not have bust a gut to get myself fit and be available for Sunday."

Although a succession of injuries have restricted Owen to just 17 starts for Newcastle so far, nine goals emphasise his value to manager Sam Allardyce.

Yet, he still cannot understand why such a fuss is being made of his presence with the England squad when other players' international commitments are not being questioned at all.

"It was the manager's decision to put me on the bench on Sunday but I was definitely up for starting," he said.

"I look around for other examples and I see Shaun Wright-Phillips. He has missed a couple of games with a hamstring injury but he is fit for England. And I saw John Toshack talking about Craig Bellamy possibly being available for Wales' game next Wednesday. He has had the same injury as me but no-one seems to be mentioning that.

"I would play in any game, for Newcastle or England, and I thought pushing myself to get back on Sunday the way I did would have dispelled any thoughts that I was just trying to get myself right for England.

"I know I am under the spotlight but it has got to be fair."

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