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Thursday, January 17, 2008
Owen may have to build Keegan bridges

One of Kevin Keegan's first tasks on meeting his Newcastle squad will be to try to build bridges with main striker Michael Owen.

England forward Owen admitted in his autobiography that he was unimpressed with Keegan's handling of him during his time as international boss.

Magpies hero Alan Shearer, however, who who partnered Owen for club and country, believes the pair will soon put their differences behind them.

Newcastle's record goalscorer told BBC Radio Five Live: 'I have gone on record as saying any I think any centre forward playing under Kevin Keegan will, dare I us the words, `love it'.

'He wants to attack and play with two wingers and get balls into the box.

'If that is the case Michael Owen will certainly enjoy playing under him. He will score goals.

'They are grown adults and will get over that. I think that is in the past and the two men will look to the future.'

Owen is still trying to make his mark at Newcastle after being plagued by injuries since his 16million move to the club from Real Madrid in 2005.

Keegan managed England for 19 months from 1999-2000 and it was during the Euro 2000 tournament that Owen felt aggrieved with his methods.

'I used to go into games feeling believing that the opposition was scared of me and feeling nothing could get in my way,' Owen wrote. 'That feeling, that belief, evaporated at times when I played under Keegan.

'I don't think Keegan had any sort of personal agenda against me, I just think that as England manager at a major tournament he felt under enormous pressure and he needed something or someone to blame.

'I was an easy target. I wasn't on top of my game.'

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