Newcastle United striker Michael Owen cannot understand why Alan Shearer left him out of the starting line-up for the 3-0 defeat at Liverpool earlier this month.
Owen started Monday's 3-1 victory against Middlesbrough but did not get on the scoresheet and was taken off with 20 minutes left with his replacement, Oba Martins, grabbing the Magpies' crucial second goal.
Owen wrote in the programme for the Boro game: "On a personal basis, I'm glad the last fortnight is over.
"I was angry with myself for missing that chance against Portsmouth and then disappointed to be left out of the starting line-up against my former club.
"I've known our manager ever since I started in the game and consider him to be a friend but there was no old pals' act as far as his decision-making was concerned.
"Although I was upset and felt that he was wrong, what I can't fault is the way he handled the situation. He was strong, up front and honest. Just the way a top manager should be.
"I also appreciate that rotation is part of today's game and any number of top players were left out of the Champions League semi-finals for tactical or other reasons."