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Owen admits players sorry to lose Keegan

Newcastle captain Michael Owen has admitted he and his team-mates have been heavily affected by the loss of Kevin Keegan.

He said: "We all liked Kevin Keegan and we were sad to see him go.

"We are all feeling it at the moment - but we have got to snap out of the doom and gloom and try and get some confidence and results, and at the minute, not picking up the results is hurting the players.

"We are as much in the dark as the fans as to the next move and it does not make it any easier as Kevin Keegan was very popular with the players and the fans."

Owen, preparing for a Carling Cup tie with West Brom, who has played under four permanent managers since arriving at St James' Park in August 2005 said he has quickly become accustomed to the turmoil which regularly engulfs the club.

He admitted: "You almost become immune to these happenings in football nowadays and I have seen plenty in my time.

"I had three managers in the space of a few months at Real Madrid.

"It's unfortunate but that's the way it goes. But players are paid to play and we have got to go out there and perform."

Hughton, Owen and the rest of the players prepared for tomorrow night's game against the backdrop of the ongoing search for a buyer for their club after owner Mike Ashley put it up for sale last weekend.

After Ashley failed to convince any suitors to buy the club for the £450m value he has placed during a trip to Dubai, the Magpies have been linked with a Nigerian consortium.

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