Shola Ameobi inspired by Robson
Shola Ameobi will take the spirit of Sir Bobby Robson with him as Newcastle attempt to keep going in the Europa League.
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23. Shola Ameobi
http://www.sportinglife.com/football/live/match-report/281004/newcastle-0-metalist-kharkiv-0The Magpies will face Metalist Kharkiv on Thursday evening 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, they 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 on Monday - watching the forward 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 Barca on Tyneside.
However, this time around, their fate will be decided on the night with a score draw enough for them to progress to the last 16, but any victory for Metalist sufficient to send the Ukrainians 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."