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Michael Owen to return for Newcastle DDay
Published : 19 May 2009 12:36:54
The Newcastle manager had been left sweating on the availability of his captain who was ruled out of last Saturday's 1-0 defeat by Fulham due to groin trouble. However, Owen underwent scans in hospital on Monday and Shearer has been told that there is every chance his ten-goal leading scorer will be available to take on Martin O'Neill's team at Villa Park. Shearer said: 'He had a scan on Monday and there is no serious injury so we are hopeful that he will be involved on Sunday.' Owen might be a shadow of his former self but Newcastle could still depend on him this weekend because defeat in the Midlands will condemn the St James' Park Club to Championship football next season. The medical bulletin on Owen is the second piece of good news for Shearer and the Newcastle players because Sunderland's defeat at Portsmouth on Monday night means there arch-rivals can still be overtaken. Sunderland hosts Chelsea on Sunday while fourth bottom Hull City will take on Champions League finalists Manchester United. However, Shearer is preparing to go into action on the final day of the season without right-back Habib Beye who is doubtful with a hamstring injury. 'He has been huge for us in the games that I have been here, so he will be a big loss,' said Shearer. 'But someone else could come in and make a name for themselves or be a hero. It is an opportunity for other players as well. 'We will have a look at things. We will give it a go. We are not out of it yet. 'We are up against it but I am sure there are still some twists and turns to come yet.' Shearer also said that former Newcastle manager Sir Bobby Robson has been help him get to grips with the challenges he faces on Tyneside. 'I do speak to Bobby on a regular basis,' said Shearer. 'We speak to each other after games and before games. He has given me little bits here and there which is great for a manager. It's nice to speak to him, of course.' Former Newcastle skipper Bob Moncur believes relegation can be avoided. Moncur said, 'I still think it can be done. We are still in with a chance and it is not over yet. 'This task is straight forward in theory. Newcastle have to get a better result than Hull. Going for a draw is a dangerous game but I am sure Alan Shearer thinks his players have a genuine chance. 'I just hope the players concentrate on the job in hand. What will be will be at Hull. They have no control over it.'