Newcastle must retain winning mentality in Premier Legaue, says Shola Ameobi
With promotion already secured, Ameobi is convinced that winning the Championship title would provide Newcastle manager Chris Hughton's side with the perfect springboard ahead of their return to the top flight just a year after the Tyneside club was relegated. "We said all season it's about bringing a winning mentality to the club, and hopefully we can take that, and the confidence we've gained, into next season," said Ameobi. "We can bring it on and build on it. There's no substitute for winning. You're out there to win games, and in recent seasons we haven't done that as much as we'd have liked. "Everyone wants to be around the place and playing, and that's been lacking in recent seasons. Long may it continue. "All the credit goes down to Chris Hughton for the way he's dealt with us as players. From the word go he's brought us together as a team, and you can see that on a day-to-day basis on the training ground. Newcastle's title challenge will face arguably its biggest test in recent weeks when they face in-form Reading at the Madejski Stadium on Tuesday night and Ameobi is ready for the challenge as his side look to extend their advantage over second-placed West Bromwich Albion. "Promotion came first, but a close second was winning the league," Ameobi added. "We've got a chance to do that now. We've got another hard game at Reading, who are flying high at home. "It'll be tough, but all season we've been prepared mentally and physically, and we'll be going there looking for three points." It was Ameobi who led the calls for Hughton to be handed the managerial reins on a long-term basis following a hat-trick against Reading at St James' Park last summer and he is bullish about his team's prospects of earning three points again. "It was great to score the treble last time out, and of course you'd want to repeat that. "And it was a special day because of Sir Bobby Robson (the first game at St James' Park after his death) "It was a great start to the season for us, and if we could reproduce the form we had that day, I think we'll be capable of getting all three points. "We've got everyone fit now. There's a lot of competition for places at the moment, so when you get your chance, you've got to take it. You've got to make sure you give a performance."
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