Owen can handle criticism - Shearer

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Newcastle boss Alan Shearer knows exactly how Michael Owen is feeling as he attempts to fight his way through a goal drought.

The 29-year-old striker's return from an ankle injury last month had been seen as a potential turning point in the club's tumultuous season, however five appearances without a goal have led to some questions over his place in the side.

Shearer said: "You have got to handle it, you have got to deal with it. You have got to believe a chance will come your way - and you have got to believe when a chance does come your way, you will take that."

He added: "You much prefer it when you are on a goalscoring run than not, but not everything is going to be perfect every single day.

"But Michael is experienced enough to handle that."

Owen's last goal came in a 2-2 draw with West Ham on January 10, and eight appearances since have gone unrewarded, although in truth, the misfiring Magpies have presented their captain with few opportunities to make his mark.

But Shearer has no doubts about a man alongside whom he played for both club and country.

He said: "When you are a centre-forward and you haven't scored goals, then you are going to be criticised.

"I know that, he knows that - he's had it before, he will have it again. He can handle that."

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Michael Owen
Premier League
Newcastle United
Alan Shearer

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