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By ESPN Staff
Jan 20, 2008

Committed Owen hails Keegan's return

Michael Owen insists he is more committed than ever to staying at Newcastle United following the return of Kevin Keegan.

Owen made made captain in Keegan's first game in charge yesterday after the 56-year-old sensationally reclaimed the St James' Park hotseat last week.

There were fears comments Owen made in his autobiography about the way he was treated during Keegan's spell in charge of England had caused a rift between the pair.

But the 28-year-old insists that is all in the past, saying in the News of the World: 'What I said in my book a few years back was an honest opinion and I stand by it.

'I don't see any need to take those words back - and from the comments Kevin made in his first press conference on Friday afternoon, he felt the same way.'

Owen has been linked with moves away from Newcastle ever since joining the club for £17million in 2005 but he has never been more determined to make his mark at the club under Keegan.

He said: 'Anyone who is not uplifted by his arrival must have something seriously wrong with them. The fans and players are certain to respond.

'It seems there will be money available for him to spend on the team and he'll bring back the style of play the fans want, a way that lets me play the way I can be most effective.

Owen added: 'Kevin has been quoted as saying he has unfinished business at the club and that's exactly how I feel.

'There has been loads of speculation which has left me in a no-win position. If I say nothing, people think there is something in the rumours but if I respond to them I would spend all of my week denying them.

'I have not been fit enough for long enough to show the fans what I can do but if I can stay 100% right, I know I will do well here under the new manager.'