Ameobi pride at Magpies honour

  • Last Updated: September 21 2012, 14:44 BST

Newcastle striker Shola Ameobi could not disguise his pride after being handed the captain's armband in Madeira.

Ameobi: Captained Toon

The Nigeria-born but Tyneside raised 30-year-old led the Magpies out against Maritimo at the Estadio dos Barreiros as manager Alan Pardew rested his big guns, but still came away with a point.

Pardew later praised Ameobi, who was joined on the pitch by 20-year-old brother Sammy after the break, for both his leadership qualities and contribution on the pitch.

The former England Under-21 international, who broke into the Newcastle first-team as a teenager under Sir Bobby Robson, was thrilled to be handed the role of skipper.

Ameobi said: "I would never have dreamt of captaining Newcastle United all those years ago.

"Every time I play for the team, it's a huge honour anyway, but to lead the team out meant the world to me.

"Being a home-grown lad, it's something that you dream about and I'm delighted to have the chance to help these young lads develop and try to push on.

"In European games, the young lads will get their chance and it is great to be able to help them."

Ameobi and his team-mates might have headed back to Tyneside with three points rather than one if their luck, and particularly that of the striker, had been better.

He hit both the post and the bar, while Dan Gosling also struck an upright, although full-back Davide Santon needed the help of the woodwork to keep out Valentin Roberge's header at the death.

Ameobi said: "It was just one of those days that the ball didn't want to go in the back of the net - we had a few chances.

"We were unfortunate not to get the win in the end. The end result for us is fantastic.

"We really picked up after the first-half performance and it's great to see the fighting qualities. On another day, we could have snatched victory."

The fact that Newcastle emerged with a clean sheet was down in no small part to the heroics of keeper Rob Elliot, making just his second senior appearance for the club.

The 26-year-old said: "I hadn't played for a year - I have been training hard, and waiting for my chance.

"I made a good early save and that helped settle the nerves. It was my first game in Europe and I was pleased to keep a clean sheet.

"There were a couple of things I could have done better, but I was pleased with my performance.

"I have had a year of hard training and I want to make everyone aware I'm a good keeper, and I have got ambitions.

"The gaffer put his faith in me and I was really pleased."