Owen keeps captain's role at Newcastle

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The Independent Football

Michael Owen will retain the captain's armband at Newcastle no matter who manager Kevin Keegan signs during the remainder of the transfer window.

Keegan was so impressed with the way the 28-year-old England international led his side in the second half of last season that he will have no qualms about asking him to continue.

Owen missed last weekend's first pre-season friendly at Hartlepool with sore calves and is unlikely to feature at Doncaster on Saturday. However, he will lead the side out at Old Trafford when Newcastle start their Premier League campaign against Manchester United next month.

Keegan said: "Yes, Michael's my captain. He has really impressed everybody. He leads by example, and that's a good way to lead. He says: 'I'll work hard, so you work hard'. He's not scared to give his opinion when he's right, and he's not scared to say what he feels."

Richard Dunne will also be retaining his armband at Manchester City, following a summer in which he appeared to be close to leaving the club after stalling over contract talks.

Mark Hughes, the new Manchester City manager, who was appointed last month, said: "It was important for me to understand Richard's position when I arrived here and get it resolved and now everyone is happy."

"He fulfils the captain's role very well and will continue to do so," Hughes added.