Desire is spur for Ameobi
SHOLA AMEOBI last night claimed that spending the last eight months playing in the Championship has helped the players rediscover the desire and determination essential to ensure Newcastle United survive and prosper on their return to the Premier League. An emotional Ameobi was touched by the jubilant scenes at Home Park on Monday night, when thousands of Newcastle fans invaded the pitch to celebrate with the team after a 2-0 win secured the Championship title. The 28-year-old was an 11- year-old fan back in 1993, when they last won the Championship under Kevin Keegan, but this time it was he who was mobbed by the fans scenes he will remember for the rest of his life. And Ameobi feels the season spent outside of the topflight has rejuvenated the club. After the partying in the next few weeks we are under no illusions, we know that it will be difficult next season, said Ameobi. We came down last year and we will have to strengthen the squad. I am not the manager, I don't want to delve into his business, that's his job. I know there's a core of players right now and we will give everything we have got. We didn't have a God-given right to win this league, we have had to give every ounce of effort, and that's what we will be trying to replicate in the Premier League. There has been a turnaround in terms of confidence since last season. But I don't think the players doubted themselves. We knew we had the quality and if we applied ourselves we knew we could come back up. There were eyebrows raised and people talked about us doing a Leeds, dropping down the divisions. But the belief in the dressing room has always been the same. We knew we had the quality to win the league. We have shown the real steel and the endurance which has been lacking in recent seasons. That will hold us in good stead next year. In defeating Plymouth on Monday night, Newcastle climbed nine points clear of second-placed West Brom with a total of 98 points. Matches with Ipswich and Queens Park Rangers are still to come, so Newcastle could still end up eight points ahead of the 96-point tally with which Keegan's Magpies won the division in 1993. Ameobi, who has worked his way through the Academy and made more than 150 appearances for the club, was clearly delighted to have been a part of the title-winning night in Devon after years of injury hell. This moment has been coming for a while, said Ameobi. It's great to get promotion, but to win the Championship with two games to spare the whole of the club, the fans, everyone, can be proud. For me, it's very emotional in terms of last season's disappointments. To get back up first time is something I will cherish for the rest of my life. As a Newcastle fan, I feel it is a real honour just to be part of this as a player. They were incredible scenes after the game. It shows the depth of the support of our fans, the greatness of our fans, to think they came so far do to that. What we have done is won a trophy for this club and that's not happened for a while. It's only the Championship trophy, but as lads, as fans, you can see how much it made everyone happy. It took the Newcastle players more than an hour to emerge from the dressing room at Home Park on Monday night before heading for the hotel for further celebrations. Ameobi said: We have been enjoying it because you have to enjoy the good moments. They have been few and far between in the last few years, so you have to savour them. We knew if we won the last three games we would be champions and we wanted to have that trophy handed to us at St James' Park in front of our fans. It will mean a lot to have them all there. That's what carried us through. We wanted to show the fans that trophy and it will be a great day for us.
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