Robbie Fowler has rubbished reports he has issued a "him or me" ultimatum at North Queensland Fury coach Ian Ferguson after he refused to sit on the bench for last weekend's A-League clash with Brisbane Roar.
The former Liverpool and England striker chose to sit in the stands for the 1-1 draw after being told he would not be in the starting 11 for the first time this season. That prompted speculation Fowler could be on his way out of Townsville despite still having a year remaining on his contract.
However, speaking for the first time since the incident, the 34-year-old has reiterated his desire to remain at the club and insisted he never threatened not to play for the Fury again while Ferguson is in charge. "I've never been like that and I certainly wouldn't like it happening to me if I was a manager and I'd never give anyone an ultimatum like that," said Fowler.
"People make stories about things that have happened afterwards and I don't know where they get these stories from. I don't have a problem with the gaffer and he's never had a problem with me."
The Fury have three games of the season remaining as they look to snatch an unlikely finals berth and Ferguson has already confirmed Fowler will return to the starting line-up against Newcastle Jets this weekend. And Fowler admitted that while he is embarrassed by his reaction at being dropped last week, he is eager to move on from the incident.
"I've been dropped before - I've been subbed before. It's not a case of my ego or me being big-headed. I'd like to put it all behind us," he added. "I've been embarrassed, the club's been embarrassed and we've probably embarrassed the club - most of all me. In hindsight, thinks can be said and things can be done, what's happened has happened. The club has released a statement and we've moved on."