Owen tonic for McClaren | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, October 09, 2007 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, October 09, 2007

Owen tonic for McClaren

Michael Owen gave England coach Steve McClaren a much-needed boost as he marked his return from surgery with a goal in Newcastle's 3-2 win over Everton.
Owen made an instant impact when he came on for the last 16 minutes at St James Park on Sunday just nine days after a double operation to cure hernia and groin problems.
His 90th minute strike will have brought a smile to McClaren's face ahead of his country's crucial Euro 2008 qualifiers against Estonia on Saturday and Russia the following Wednesday.
But the coach saw his attacking options dwindle after Everton manager David Moyes confirmed frontman Andrew Johnson will miss the qualifiers to have an ankle operation.
"Andy's got an ankle operation, he's got a groin strain, so he's going to miss the next three or four weeks," Moyes said.
McClaren is already without Emile Heskey and is waiting for the results of scans on Dean Ashton, who looks likely to miss out as well after suffering a knee injury in West Ham's defeat at Aston Villa on Saturday.
As if that wasn't enough of a concern, Owen's Newcastle teammate Alan Smith has a slight knee problem, although he will report for duty.
There was one piece of good news for McClaren as Frank Lampard played the full 90 minutes of Chelsea's 1-0 win at Bolton on Sunday.
Owen's cameo appearance was enough to convince him he will be fit to start.
"I'm fine. I'm playing without pain and will only get better," Owen said.
"It's only a minor thing but it took a lot of determination to come back so soon. I've put in a lot of hard work over the last week and I was disappointed not to actually start.
"The surgeon's advice is what I will look at more than anything else. She tells me to push it as hard as I like."
However, Newcastle manager Sam Allardyce fears Owen could suffer a setback if he plays in both matches and he plans to speak to McClaren to voice his concerns.
"I don't know whether two games in such a short space of time is right, but it's not my decision, though I will speak to Steve about that," Allardyce said.
Chelsea midfielder Lampard was making his first appearance since August after recovering from a thigh injury and his return has left McClaren with a selection dilemma.

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