Date: 15th August 2006 at 11:02pm
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Manager Glenn Roeder told radio listeners the club’s record signing is facing a gruelling period of recovery which could be a lot longer than expected.

However, Owen is confident the Magpies can still make an impression in the Premiership despite his absence.

Owen: ‘The lads did well at the back end of last season to get into seventh spot with that fantastic late run, and they have done well over the summer. The pre-season has been tough because the competitive games came first, but European football is vital for the club so it will have been worth it if we get into the UEFA Cup proper.

‘Everyone knows we are trying to bring in new players, and I’m sure we will be able to bring in a higher quality of player if we are competing in Europe. Everyone is excited with the start of the Premiership season coming up, you can sense that around the place.

‘On paper, it looks as though we have a good start to the season, but we need to turn those games into points from the start.’