Injured Owen a finale doubt

18 May 2009 03:11
Alan Shearer has admitted that Michael Owen is a major doubt for Newcastle United's must-win final Premier League match of the season. The striker missed Saturday's 1-0 defeat to Fulham at St James' Park which saw the ailing Magpies edge closer towards relegation. Owen picked up a groin problem in training last week and is a major doubt for Sunday's trip to Aston Villa. Meanwhile, Spanish full-back Jose Enrique could make his own comeback from a three-game thigh muscle injury absence. "Michael Owen tweaked his groin and had a fitness test, which didn't last very long," manager Shearer told the Newcastle Chronicle. "We'll get him scanned on Monday, so we'll know the results on Monday afternoon. Jose's a possibility too. We'll see where we go from there." Meanwhile, Shearer has vowed to lift the morale of the players ahead of a game they cannot afford to lose. The Magpies must better Hull City's result against Manchester United if they are to avoid slipping into the Championship. "We're obviously bitterly disappointed but we live to fight another day and I'm sure there's going to be more twists and turns on Sunday afternoon," he added. "Everyone's heads are down at this moment in time, but we'll come in and pick them up. "It's not impossible. I always felt it would go to the last day - I said that when I came in. We're still in there fighting and in with a chance. "All I know is that it'll be a long afternoon. It'll be very nervous, but we're in the hat, and we're in there fighting, which is the main thing." Elsewhere, the Magpies have confirmed they are to appeal the red card shown to Sebastien Bassong against Fulham. The defender was sent off on the hour mark at Craven Cottage after being adjudged to have hauled down Diomansy Kamara as the last man.

Source: ESA

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