SHOLA Ameobi’s determined Newcastle United mark the Sir Bobby Robson National Football Day with a fitting performance.
The club faces Braga at St James’s Park tomorrow (6pm kick-off).
A series of events are being held across the country to honour Sir Bobby’s contribution to the game and raise money for charity.
Ameobi was handed his Newcastle debut as a raw teenager almost 13 years ago, and the 31-year-old owes a huge debt to Robson, who passed away three years ago after a long battle against cancer.
With Sir Bobby having spent many years managing in Portugal, Ameobi feels United’s choice of opposition is appropriate.
“Obviously, it’s Sir Bobby Robson Day,” Ameobi said. “He was a great man and mentor in my life.
“To be playing a Portuguese side as well is very fitting.
“I’m excited about that. Hopefully, I can get a few more minutes again, top up my fitness and keep on scoring.”
Ameobi took his pre-season goal tally to four in Tuesday night’s 1-1 draw against Rangers at Ibrox.
After being put through by his brother Sammy, he lifted the ball over advancing goalkeeper Cammy Bell. The strike cancelled out Lee McCulloch’s first-half penalty.
Reflecting on the game, Ameobi said: “Sammy’s put me in with a great pass. As soon as I saw the keeper running out, I knew what I wanted to do.
“It’s nice that I pulled it off. It was a tough game for us, and it was nice to come away with a result. We’ve worked hard all week, and there were a few tired legs out there.
“I came on, freshened it up and we were well worth the draw.
“They’re a good side. Their season’s started, and they’re ready to do. You could see that.
“They were sharp and fit, and caused us a few problems.
“As the game wore on, we started to assert ourselves. It was great that I was able to finish that one at the end.”
The match was keenly-contested, and Ameobi feels United are in good shape ahead of the new season.
“We’re getting to the business end now,” he added. “We have to make sure come August 19 that we’re at our sharpest.
“Things like this help. On the back of a really tough week, it was good for us to play a game like that.”
Meanwhile, Sammy Ameobi has been called up by Roy Hodgson for England’s Under-21 game against Scotland at Bramall Lane on Tuesday.