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Ameobi inspired by Robson

19 February 2013-PA Sport

Shola Ameobi will take the spirit of Sir Bobby Robson with him as Newcastle attempts to keep its Europa League dream alive in Ukraine.

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."

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