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Despite Newcastle strikers Luuk de Jong and Papiss Cisse struggling to hit the back of the net, long-serving Shola Ameobi still fails to break into the first team, and the Nigerian international has voiced his frustrations at being on the sidelines at St. James' Park.
“It’s frustrating for me, but I just have to bide my time,” the 32-year-old said. “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.
“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," he added.
Manager Alan Pardew is once again banned from attending Newcastle's game at home to Crystal Palace this weekend, but assistant and now caretaker boss John Carver has been handed a boost with the impending return of full back Davide Santon. The Italian has been sidelined for around a month with a knee problem, but has now recovered sufficiently to be considered for Saturday's game.
In other news, Magpies midfielder Dan Gosling has been fined for admitting an FA conduct charge for illegal betting. The former Everton midfielder, 24, will be hit with a £30,000 fine for admitting "multiple breaches of Rule E8(b) for misconduct in relation to betting," according to the FA.
There will be no ban for the midfielder, meaning he should be available for selection for temporary manager Carver for the Crystal Palace game on Saturday.