Owen - Contract talks on hold

Striker focused on saving Newcastle from the drop

Michael Owen has revealed that contract talks are on hold as he concentrates on ensuring Newcastle United avoid relegation.

The Magpies are without a win since Kevin Keegan's return to Tyneside and sit four points above the relegation zone after Owen struck a priceless equaliser in the 1-1 draw at Birmingham on Monday.

And the 28-year-old striker, whose current contract expires next summer, has insisted that focusing on Newcastle's bid for survival takes precedence over discussions of a new deal.

"The club has not offered me a new contract yet and I have not knocked on the door and asked for one," he said. "There are more pressing things."


Owen went on to voice his hope that the draw at St Andrews, which ended a run of four consecutive defeats, will prove to be a turning point in Newcastle's season

"In the dressing room afterwards, it was the best I've felt for quite a while," he continued.

"I'm not saying we're pleased to have drawn. We are bigger and better than to be pleased with drawing at Birmingham.

"Once we went 1-0, you might think the lads were thinking 'Oh no, not again' but in fact the opposite happened and we played with a lot more quality.

"Now we must take that into Saturday's game against Fulham."

Later on Thursday, England boss Fabio Capello is set to name his squad for the friendly game against France in Paris on 26th March.


And while Owen is keen to add to his 88 caps, he is adamant that his commitment lies with Newcastle.

"I have been an England player for several years and hopefully there are plenty more caps under the new manager," he added.

"My main priority is to get points for Newcastle. We have to put this relegation thing to bed as soon as possible."