Newcastle United striker frustrated with substitute role

Shola Ameobi has admitted he is frustrated by his limited first-team opportunities at Newcastle United this season


The Mackem Slayer's last start for the club came against Sunderland at the start of February and since then he has had to settle for a place on the bench.

He has only started 10 league games all season, but many of them came during Newcastle's excellent run early on in the season which including superb wins over Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur. He had struck up a decent partnership with Loic Remy but Alan Pardew has often chosen just to start Remy up front on his own.

When Remy missed last weekend's match with Fulham, Papiss Cisse was preferred to Ameobi in attack. The latter did eventually come off the bench for his first appearance in six weeks.

Speaking to The Shields Gazette he admitted he is frustrated with his minimal game time in what could be his last season with the club. "It’s frustrating for me, but I just have to bide my time. I’ve loved my time in Newcastle, no more so than when I’m playing. I just want to help the team. When that doesn’t happen, it’s frustrating."

Ameobi has spent his whole career at Newcastle United and with his contract up at the end of the season it looks as if his 19th year with the club could be his last.

I know the manager picks a team he thinks can win. We have to respect that as a player, but it doesn’t stop it being frustrating."

“Hopefully, I can help us in these last nine games, and get us as high as we can."

The 32-year-old hopes to play some part in the World Cup this summer despite limited opportunities at St James' Park. The Nigerian international has impressed for The Super Eagles in his previous five international caps. Hopefully for him he can impress in the last nine games for Newcastle to help cement his place in Nigeria's World Cup squad.

A good display at the World Cup will put him in the shop window if he finds himself without a club at that point. He has been a wonderful servant for the Magpies and fans will be sad to see him leave. He has scored 77 goals for the club with 7 of them coming against arch rivals Sunderland.

Shola's brother Sammy looks set to carry on the Ameobi legacy at Newcastle though. He is a regular in the first-team squad and has received plaudits from Pardew before. He has played in nine Premier League games this season and his current contract runs until 2015.

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