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Roeder backs Shola to shine
20 Aug 2006 - 14:44:57
Newcastle United boss Glenn Roeder has given his full backing to Shola Ameobi, amid continuing speculation linking the club with bids for high-profile strikers.
Reports on Sunday suggested a deal to sign Obafemi Martins from Internazionale is all but complete, as the Magpies look to bolster a strike-force weakened by Alan Shearer's retirement and Michael Owen's serious knee injury.
Roeder knows the speculation must be difficult for Ameobi, who scored the winner in Saturday's 2-1 victory against Wigan Athletic, to cope with, but insisted the local lad has nothing to worry about.
"He's averaged a goal every two games since February. I've known him a long time and always saw something in him," said Roeder.
"He's a striker who needs to play through the middle and I've told him that's where he'll be playing for me. But I've told him that he needs to score goals and that's what he's been doing.
"I told Shola that I'm looking to bring in a striker not to replace him, but to play alongside him and that's the truth."