Joe Kinnear is backing Newcastle skipper Michael Owen to hit the goals trail once again after leaping to his defence.
The 28-year-old found himself in the firing line at the weekend after failing to muster a single shot on goal in Saturday's 0-0 derby draw at Middlesbrough.
However, the manager said: "Yes, Michael had a quiet game by his high standards, but the coaching staff on the bench could see how hard he was working and we felt that he did a lot of unselfish running for the team."
He added: "That was backed up when we had a look at the video after the game and studied each individual performance and saw what Owen had done.
"Our big regret at Middlesbrough on Saturday was that none of the chances we created came Michael's way, but that was not necessarily his fault.
"He kept running into goalscoring positions, but he just never got the ball, and that is something we have to work on."
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