Manchester United striker Michael Owen has hit back at criticism from Newcastle fans following his return to St James’ Park.
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The 31-year-old, who spent four years on Tyneside after a club record £16million move from Real Madrid, received a hostile welcome as he was introduced as an 80th-minute replacement for Nani during Tuesday night’s 0-0 Premier League draw on Tyneside.
Responding to the boos via his Twitter account, he said: "Got a poor reception off the home fans which was disappointing. Was desperate to score!"
He added: "Knew I would get booed as that’s what a lot of fans do, but if they knew the facts, then they may have a different opinion."
Owen, who earned £103,000 a week during his injury-plagued time with the Magpies, left in the wake of the club’s relegation to the Championship at the end of the 2008-09 campaign.
He defended himself amid further criticism in a series of later posts.
The striker said: "From what most of you Newcastle fans are saying, you should be pleased I left the club! If I had known that earlier I could have left sooner!
"For the record, I tried my best in every game for Newcastle. Under KK [Kevin Keegan], I played well and I’ll never forget the 2 I scored against Sunderland.
"When I meet Newcastle or Liverpool fans, they all respect what I’ve done for their clubs. In stadiums it changes, 1 boo and the rest follow.
"By the way, I’m not looking for sympathy. As long as my family don’t boo me when I walk through the door, I couldn’t care less!!!"