Newcastle boss Sam Allardyce is hoping Michael Owen maintains his knack of scoring when his team needs it most as he returns to domestic action at struggling Derby on Monday evening.

The 27-year-old took his international goals tally to 40 with three in two games for England against Israel and Russia to mark his return to top form, having opened his season´s account for the Magpies with the first goal in a 2-0 Carling Cup victory over Barnsley and then a late winner against Wigan in the Barclays Premier League.

Allardyce said: "He did it against Wigan and he did it against Barnsley to get us on the way. He is a great goalscorer and he scores very, very crucial goals. Instead of scoring when we are 3-0 up and making it four, he generally scores when you need him to."

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