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Ex-Newcastle striker Owen: If Shearer feels the need to blame me...

Michael Owen says he gave his all for Alan Shearer and Newcastle United when the club were relegated at the end of the 2008/09 season.

There has been plenty of backlash from excerpts released from Owen's latest book, which detail his dissatisfaction during a four-year stint with Toon.

Shearer, who was manager in 08/09, responded on Twitter criticising his former teammate, and Owen hasn't backed down from his original comments.

Speaking to ESPN, Owen said: "If Alan Shearer has come to the conclusion that I didn't fancy playing in the last game against Aston Villa because I was worried about getting injured and subsequently worried about my next move then, if that's what's in his head and that's how he's overcome his disappointment of not being a success as Newcastle manager, then that's fine in a way.

"It's almost like a grieving period and sometimes you've got to blame someone else. I've done it loads of times in my life. Do you think I've come off a pitch and said 'I've been rubbish today, it's all my fault?' No way. You'll never be a footballer if you're like that. You think 'well the right-back can't pass for toffee, the midfielder is not creative enough, my strike partner is not seeing my run', whatever you think.

"Very rarely if you're right at the top of the game do you blame yourself. As I say, it's a compliment to Alan Shearer. He's had to find some way of not blaming himself, I guess, for what happened with Newcastle. But I find it hard that he's come to the decision to blame me for it when I was hardly fit in the period he took over, and then I actually put my body on the line in the last game when really I was a week or two away from being fit from a groin injury. So I get it, I don't agree with it. I don't think that he will ever change his mind, change his view, so I almost think that bit is pointless."

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Paul Vegas

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