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By ESPN Staff
Jan 18, 2006

Owen insists he is enjoying life at Newcastle

Michael Owen celebrated his return to training yesterday and quickly dismissed Sven-Goran Eriksson's suggestion that he is unhappy at Newcastle.

England boss Eriksson has been quoted as saying Owen does not enjoy playing for the Magpies and was only lured to St James' Park by the money on offer.

However, 26-year-old Owen, on the comeback trail following surgery on a broken foot, has reassured the Toon Army that he is fully committed to the club.

Owen told the club's official website: 'I'm enjoying my time here. I enjoyed it out in Madrid, but there is nothing quite like being in the English Premier League and I've not been disappointed since I've been here.'

The former Liverpool striker was given a hero's welcome on Tyneside when moving to the north east for £16million last August and remains grateful for that reception.

'It was a fantastic reception I had here and I've loved every minute of it already,' added Owen.

'You always want to repay them for the support they've given you in producing good performances on the pitch. When I'm fit I'm sure I will do that.'

Owen also revealed he is revelling in the atmosphere in the dressing room at St James' Park, despite United's patchy form so far this season.

'It's exciting coming back into work, it's always a good laugh,' said Owen. 'I enjoyed my time at Real Madrid, but it's nothing like coming into a dressing room where you understand all the jokes and everything else.'

Owen refused to put a timescale on his recovery but is just happy to 'see light at the end of the tunnel'.

He said: 'I've had the stitches out, the cast is off, and it's all go now. I'm not sure about time limits but I'm certainly looking forward to pulling on a black and white shirt again.

'I'm looking at my next targets now. The next one is getting on the bike, then the treadmill, running, and then kicking the ball again.

'As much as it still seems a few weeks away, I'm looking forward to it already. I can see light at the end of the tunnel.

'Thankfully I am going to be back for a decent part of the season and hopefully back into a team playing well. I'm excited about coming back already.

'I'm pleased with when I've played. This has been a bit of a blow but I'm striving to get back on the pitch as quick as possible and bang in the goals again.'