Ameobi A Figure Of Fun!

Last updated : 03 August 2008 By Footy Mad - Editor

Toon fans ... who seem to see Ameobi as a figure of fun ... sang: "If Shola scores, we're on the drink" before kick off.

He didn't score, and I don't think they expected him to anyway, but they went on the drink regardless.

That's the beauty of being a Geordie ... victory or defeat ... it's an excuse for a slurp.

However, United's striker crisis deepened in Palma when Ameobi (popular or not) hobbled out of the ONO Stadium with a hamstring problem with less than an hour played.

Keegan's paper-thin squad has had to rely on wantaway striker Ameobi and Smith in their pre-season friendlies and the pairing has yet to score so far and Smith has yet to conjure up a shot in any of Newcastle's three pre-season matches.

Now, with the new season just 15 days away for United, Ameobi is facing a race against time to be fit for the daunting trip to Old Trafford.

Ameobi: "I felt my hamstring tighten up and as soon as I felt that I came off. Hopefully, I caught that in time.

"I'm hoping this niggle won't hold me back as I need to stay fit.

"I had quite a few injuries last season. There were different things that kept me back and stopped me being as fit as I should have been.

"I missed a lot of pre-season last year with a thigh problem, and that's what held me back.

"I wasn't fit enough to challenge for a place in the team. This season I've made sure I've been right. I've worked very hard. The manager wants us to be one of the fittest teams in the league.

"I'm still a Newcastle United player, and I have to be professional about it.

"Whatever happens in the next month or so, I have to make sure my head's right.

"Football's a frustrating game at times, but you have to keep your head up, and hope for the best.

"This is the fittest I've been in a few years, and hopefully, that can translate into playing more games. I need to improve my form.

"I have to look after myself, and no matter how much I love the club, I have to satisfy my need for first-team football.

"I'm working hard. Fitness has been a big issue for me in the last two or three years.

"But I have made sure I've had a good pre-season by keeping myself fit over the summer.

"I have to be professional and make sure my body's right, and that I'm in the right frame of mind."