Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Shola's Got It All to Play For

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Shola's Got It All to Play For

Article excerpt

Byline: By Alan Oliver

Shola Ameobi aims to shake off his Portsmouth blues when he again gets a chance to do his stuff on the European stage when Sporting Lisbon come to St James' Park tonight.

Not surprisingly, Ameobi's adrenalin will be pumping that much faster today as he prepares to line-up alongside Craig Bellamy in tonight's UEFA Cup tie.

For Ameobi's tally of 10 goals for United in Europe is bettered only by Alan Shearer himself which is remarkable as he is still only 23 years old.

No wonder Ameobi said today: "It's weird really, because I find that I get most of my chances in Europe.

"I love playing in big games on a big stage and I have some great memories of playing in Europe.

"Obviously, Alan Shearer and Patrick Kluivert aren't fit for tonight's game so hopefully I will get another chance."

Ameobi was excellent in the game against Sochaux in France but for some reason slovenly against Pompey on Saturday.

However, he went on: "It was good to play against Portsmouth but I didn't feel I did myself justice.

"I wasn't properly match fit because I hadn't played since the game in Sochaux but, hopefully, tonight I will reap the benefit from that game.

"When I get the opportunity to play I want to do well and make it tough for the manager to leave me out.

"We need a good result for a couple of reasons. Firstly, we need a win to boost us after this bad run we're on at the moment.

"Every team has them. Look at Arsenal and Manchester United, they have both had runs this season where things haven't gone for them.

"We're not doing too much wrong but we have spent time on the training ground this week looking at how to improve things.

"As far as the Lisbon game goes, we know what it means to stay on top of the group with the way the draw is made for the next stage. …

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