SHOLA Ameobi’s hoping it will be a family affair up front at Newcastle United this season.
Ameobi’s younger brother Sammy is on the fringes of Alan Pardew’s starting XI after impressing in pre-season.
The 21-year-old has won praise from United manager Alan Pardew, while his elder sibling ended the club’s warm-up campaign as top scorer with four goals.
Sammy, in the squad for tonight’s season-opener at Manchester City, spent the latter part of last season on loan at Champonship club Middlesbrough.
And Shola feels the England Under-21 international is ready to make an impression the Premier League.
“It’s an important season for him – he needs to play games, as do I,” Ameobi told the Gazette.
“It’s important that he’s pushing.
“He’s at the stage of his career where he needs to play. He’ll progress by playing, not by just watching.
“It’s important that he understands that.
“He’s worked very hard in the off-season, and in pre-season, to prove to the manager he’s ready for a role in the team. It’s looking positive.
“All he can do is do what he’s told and perform on the pitch, and hopefully the manager will show faith in him.”
Sammy set up Shola for his goal against Rangers at Ibrox earlier this month, and the Nigeria international says it’s a joy to be on the pitch in a black and white shirt alongside him.
“It’s great – he’s my brother,” he added.
“It’s great for the family. I’m a proud big brother to see how far he’s come.
“Hopefully, he can keep on improving. He’s a top player in the making.”
The pair combined for a competitive goal against Club Brugge in the Europa League last season.