Alan Shearer has laughed off claims that Michael Owen is on the verge of quitting and is still hoping to convince his former strike partner to stay at Newcastle next season.
Shearer again backed Owen to rediscover his goalscoring touch yesterday, his latest show of support coming after a report suggesting his captain's career is heading towards a close an unfounded allegation which incurred swift action from Owen's legal team.
The Newcastle manager said: 'Write him off at your peril. I'm still 100 per cent convinced that, if we give him chances, he will score goals.
'People analyse him because of what he is, where he has been andwhat he has achieved. The beauty is that you always get the chance tohave the last laugh. Yes, he needs a goal but I have every belief inMichael Owen. Don't doubt that.
'He is like any centre forward. You go through times when you scoreand times when you don't. He is putting in the work and it is just amatter of sticking the ball in the net.He will get in the right places at the right times and score.
'As a Newcastle fan, I would like him in a Newcastle shirt nextseason so long as it's in the Premier League. I still believe thatMichael Owen in a Premier League side will score goals. I'm convincedabout that, as long as he is given the chances.