Date: 6th December 2005 at 2:20pm
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It’s difficult times for Souey, and it could mean drastic measures for the visit of Arsenal. Owen, Taylor and Dyer could all be thrown in after injury problems.

Michael Owen has missed United’s last four games with a groin strain, while Taylor has been forced out of the side for three weeks with a shoulder problem as the Magpies struggled to cope with their absence.

‘We’re very hopeful of having Michael Owen back against Arsenal and the other good news is that Steven Taylor could well be back as well,’ said a manager.

‘We’re very hopeful about him. He’s a young boy and he’s a quick healer, so it’s a case of fingers crossed, but as I’ve said, we’re positive about it. That would be a timely boost for us ahead of what is going to be another tough game.

‘It’s been a difficult balancing act for me as a manager. I want to be able to put out my strongest side, but I don’t want to rush players back too quickly and risk seeing them ruled out for another four or five weeks. At the moment, though, we think both should be all right for the weekend.

‘Michael is a match-winner and without Kieron Dyer in our side, Emre and Albert Luque, we’ve lacked that bit of sparkle, that little bit of magic.

‘Michael has been as frustrated as anyone. He’s been desperate to play, he hates being injured because he loves scoring goals and I’m thrilled to have him back.

‘He is a born goalscorer and goals win games.’