Newcastle United manager Joe Kinnear cannot understand why so much vitriol is directed towards Michael Owen.
The former Liverpool and Real Madrid striker was singled out for criticism after the goalless draw at Middlesbrough a fortnight ago, but Kinnear is baffled as to why a player who has already scored six league goals this term comes in for so much stick.
He told the Chronicle: "Like all of us, Michael's looking forward to Portsmouth and picking up a good result. He was fantastic for us again when we played Stoke.
"He popped up and scored two goals and proved his quality again.
"He got an awful lot of grief after the Boro game and I was disappointed by it, but he's once again proved what a great striker he is and I expect he'll keep on doing it.
"We've got Michael Owen and Oba Martins as our two fully-fit strikers, whereas Mark Viduka is not yet at his sharpest.
"There are still 22 games left and I really do believe we can go to Pompey and get a great result. After that we have a home game with Spurs and then Wigan away, and I believe we can get results in those games as well.
"The players are responding very well. Even though the bad luck has been relentless we're doing okay and have lost just twice since I took charge."