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I’ll Sho my Metal again, insists Newcastle hero

JUMPING FOR JOY ... Shola Ameobi celebrates with Yohan Cabaye after scoring from the penalty spot.

JUMPING FOR JOY ... Shola Ameobi celebrates with Yohan Cabaye after scoring from the penalty spot.

  • by MILES STARFORTH
 

SHOLA Ameobi’s confident he’s got more Europa League goals in his locker after sending Newcastle United into the last 16.

Ameobi’s second-half penalty gave the club a hard-fought 1-0 aggregate win over Metalist Kharkiv last night.

It was the 15th European goal scored by the long-serving striker, who has found himself on the fringes of Alan Pardew’s team this season.

However, he never doubted his would put the 64th-minute penalty away, won by Moussa Sissoko.

“People ask me what goes through my mind – but it’s a free shot at goal,” Ameobi said.

“You’re nervous, but it’s a chance to score a goal.

“There are no doubts going through my mind when I step up. I just try and put it where I want to put it.

“Fortunately for me, I’ve never missed one.

“The confidence has always been there. It’s just a matter of applying myself.

Ameobi has found Premier League starts hard to come by this season.

“It’s very difficult when you play one week and have three weeks out,” added the 31-year-old.

“It’s difficult for anyone, and I’m no exception. It’s hard to find your form.

“I just have to do the best when I’m given the chance.

“It’s not about me – it’s about the team. That always comes first.

“The manager has a big decision every week, and unfortunately I’ve been left out for the most part of the season.

“But if he wants me to do a job, I have to take the opportunity with both hands.”

Newcastle will face Russian outfit Anzhi Makhachkala in the next round after they beat Hannover 4-2 on aggregate last night.

Ameobi added: “Every opponent we get is going to be tough. The standard is high.

“We’ll have to be at the top of our game, and play the way we did.”

Pardew, meanwhile, revealed he’d challenged the player to deliver after telling Ameobi he’d been disappointed with his contribution lately.

And the Newcastle boss believes Ameobi should have had a better career with the talent he’s got.

Pardew said: “I had a little word with him before the game, as I felt he could’ve done better in the last few games.

“I asked him the question, and he delivered the answer.

“You know his attributes – he’s never going to be a livewire like Craig Bellamy.

“But what he is is a target man. He gives you a presence and an experience.

“For me, I still think he should have had a better career here.”

Pardew, however, was grateful for Ameobi’s cool head when it came to stepping up to the penalty spot.

“He hit it with the assurance of a player who’s played at this level,” said the Toon chief.

“He’s got two good feet. He smashed it in with his right foot.”

Twitter: @milesstarforth

 

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