Alan Shearer has revealed that Michael Owen has responded 'professionally' after he was left out of the Newcastle side against Liverpool.
The Magpies boss opted to start with Mark Viduka and Obafemi Martins in the 3-0 defeat to Liverpool at Anfield denying Owen the chance to face his former club in the process.
The 29-year-old is in the middle of a barren run in front of goal with the former Real Madrid ace failing to find the net in his last ten games.
But Shearer insists that Owen's form was not the reason for his omission from the starting XI.
"I just thought that I would try something different," he told the club's official website.
"We hadn't been creating a lot of chances and I just thought I'd go with Mark Viduka up front with Oba Martins just to the right of him.
"But Michael was very professional as you'd expect. He was obviously disappointed to have been left out but his response was good."
The striker's afternoon was made worse with Shearer only bringing the England international on for the final 10 minutes.