Newcastle players hurting as much as fans – Ameobi

PAIN GAME ... Shola Ameobi.
PAIN GAME ... Shola Ameobi.

SHOLA Ameobi says Newcastle United’s players are hurting as much as the club’s fans after their FA Cup exit.

And the striker’s confident he and his team-mates can get back to winning ways at Ewood Park tonight.

In the absence of captain Fabricio Coloccini through injury, Ameobi skippered the Newcastle side beaten 1-0 by Brighton and Hove Albion in a fourth-round tie at the Amex Stadium.

United were backed by 2,500 supporters on the South Coast on Saturday, and many of those will be in Darwen to see Alan Pardew’s team take on Blackburn Rovers for the fourth time this season.

As captain, Ameobi was handed the responsibility of speaking to the media on behalf of the dressing room after the Brighton defeat.

Asked about the significance of the visit to Ewood Park, he said: “Listen, we’ve got to do it for ourselves, and do it for the club.

“At the end of the day, we want to win as well as players – that’s what we’re here to do.

“We don’t want to feel like that every day, and for the most part of this season we haven’t.

“We’ve got to hold on to that and stay positive.

“Going back into the league, it’s a team we’ve beaten a couple of times before. We know it’s going to be tough, but we need to keep on fighting. It’s vitally important we don’t get ourselves down, and stay positive.

“We’ve got to be mentally positive, and go into the game trying to get a result.

“We’re bitterly disappointed, but we’ve got to get over it. There’s no time to think about this – we have to move on.”

The challenge for Pardew’s players is to put the cup exit behind them and build on what has been a hugely promising Premier League campaign so far, with the club still within reach of the Champions League places.

And Ameobi believes the club’s fans can play a significant role between now and the end of the season.

“It’s the biggest game of the season for us now, and we’ve just got to focus on that,” Ameobi told the Gazette. “Hopefully, we can get a result.

“The fans were there in full voice, and fantastic. It’s disappointing that we didn’t give them a victory, but hopefully they’ll stay behind us and keep pushing us on, as they have done all season.

“Hopefully, we can give them a performance and victory on Wednesday night.”