Shola Ameobi will take the spirit of Sir Bobby Robson with him as Newcastle attempts to keep its Europa League dream alive in Ukraine.
19 Feb 2013 - 9:44 PM  UPDATED 19 Feb 2013 - 11:07 PM

Newcastle faces Metalist Kharkiv this week still bristling at the two goals Papiss Cisse had controversially disallowed in a 0-0 first leg draw at St James' Park last week.

However, it will do so with 31-year-old Ameobi having encountered just this kind of challenge a decade ago.

On February 18, 2003, then manager Robson celebrated his 70th birthday - he would have been 80 yesterday - watching the gangling frontman he later described as his "lanky Bambi" score twice in a 3-1 Champions League victory at Bayer Leverkusen after successive defeats by Inter Milan and Barcelona.

And that will fuel Ameobi 10 years on.

Ameobi said: "Listen, I take him everywhere with me. He is what made me who I am today. He encapsulates everything football means to me.

"His enthusiasm for the game was imparted on me, and he would have loved that, going over there and proving a point, so hopefully we can do that as a team."

The Magpies ultimately missed out on a place in the Champions League quarter-finals back in 2003 after drawing at Inter Milan but losing to Barcelona on Tyneside.

However, this time around, the club's fate will be decided on the night with a score draw enough for it to progress to the last 16, but any victory for Metalist sufficient to send the Ukrainian side through.

Ameobi said: "We are excited. We are not behind in the tie, which is good. They haven't scored an away goal. That could prove decisive for us.

"Personally, this is a big tournament. It's a European competition and we want to get as far as we can.

"The manager takes this seriously and so do we as players."