Shearer keeps faith in Owen
Alan Shearer has refused to rule out starting Michael Owen for the home clash with Fulham on Saturday. The Newcastle United manager is spoilt for choice when it comes to options up front at present, with the majority of his strikers firing. But the pressure on Owen has increased after his barren run in front of goal stretched to 11 games following his failure to find the net in Monday's 3-1 win over Middlesbrough. In fact, the 29-year-old was withdrawn for Obafemi Martins on 70 minutes with the scores locked at 1-1 only for the Nigerian to fire the Magpies into the lead a minute after coming off the bench. With fellow striker Mark Viduka also putting in an inspired display, many expect Shearer to start with the front pairing that finished the game on Monday. But the Magpies boss is determined not to give anything away as he prepares for the visit of the Cottagers and focuses on picking a side that will secure the three points that could all-but guarantee their Premier League status. "There were some big performances out there against Boro," he told the Evening Chronicle. "Let's not forget about Michael. He also put in a shift without much success."
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