IT was as frustrating for Sammy Ameobi on the bench as it was Newcastle United’s fans in the stands.
The forward sat through Saturday’s home defeat to Hull City.
Tonight, Ameobi will be on the pitch.
The 21-year-old will be handed a start along with fellow Academy graduate Paul Dummett, a left back, for the club’s third round Capital One Cup tie against Leeds United.
It’s an opportunity Ameobi – who scored against Morecambe in the previous round – doesn’t want to waste.
“This is a massive opportunity to stake a claim,” Ameobi told SportMail.
“It’s going to be a massive game, and I’m looking forward to it.
“It is another opportunity to play again. I’m going to stake a claim.
“In the manager’s eyes, this is a big game because it didn’t go well against Hull, and we need to get back on track.
“I enjoy playing with Paul (Dummett), and we work well together.
“It’s really frustrating when you’re on the bench, and you can’t do anything about it.
“Now we have the opportunity to play and make the difference. Hopefully, we can do that.
“It’s always massive against Leeds.
“We played against them two pre-seasons ago and lost, so we know they can play good football.”
The League Cup, by Ameobi’s own admission, has been “good” to the England Under-21 international.
He scored his first Newcastle goal in the competition against Scunthorpe United two years ago, and he netted in injury time against Morecambe at the Globe Area.
Ameobi’s elder brother, Shola, had opened the scoring on a nervy night in the 84th minute.
Another goal would be welcome, a win more so.
“This cup has been good to me,” he said.
“The most important thing is a win, but a goal would be a nice bonus.
“We want to go as far as we can.
“Hopefully, Leeds can be a stepping stone on the road to Wembley.
“If we can get a good result, it keeps us going.”
In his pre-match Press conference, Pardew revealed Ameobi and Dummett would start.
The pair shone in pre-season, but they now need to perform in competitive games if they are to play more Premier League football this season.
“I’ll put out a strong side,” said Pardew.
“But we need to look at one or two to see if they’re pushing for the first team. Sammy and Paul will definitely play.”
For his part, Ameobi - whose brother Tomi had a spell at Leeds – knows he has a chance of making it at Newcastle if he backs up his undoubted ability with application.
To that end, he learnt a lot during a loan spell at Middlesbrough last season.
“Being at Middlesbrough made me feel a bigger part of something,” said Ameobi.
“I realised what it would be like to have that feeling every game.
“Now I want to do that here. I’ve just got to keep playing and working hard.
“Hopefully, I get that time in the near future.
“I think I’ve had a good start to the season.
“There are good players ahead of me. I just have to patient at this stage of my career.
“Every opportunity I get, I have to take it.
“If I get my work ethic right, my time will come.”