SHOLA Ameobi says there’s still life in his Newcastle United career yet – after making a flying start to pre-season.
The long-serving striker, linked with a summer move away from St James’s Park, has scored in the club’s last two friendlies.
Ameobi scored Newcastle’s equaliser in Tuesday night’s 1-1 draw against Pacos de Ferreira – three days after coming off the bench to find the net in a 3-1 defeat to Rio Ave.
The 31-year-old is entering the last year of his United deal.
Pardew, who is desperate for striking reinforcements to arrive this summer, suggested late last season he was open to the idea of Ameobi being given a contract extension.
For his part, Ameobi, one of only two senior strikers taken to Portugal by Pardew, just wants to play regularly, preferably at Newcastle.
He made just four Premier League starts last term and he doesn’t want to spend another season on the bench.
Asked about the speculation on his future, Ameobi told SportMail: “There’s nothing I want to say.
“I’m a Newcastle player, and I’ve got a year left on my contract.
“Every season there’s been speculation about me. I’ve always been focused on Newcastle.
“Whatever happens, happens, but I don’t really pay much attention.
“I just want to score goals for Newcastle. I feel I can play football for Newcastle. I think I’ve got a little bit left in me.
“Whichever way the club wants to go, it’s down to them.
“If I’m wanted at Newcastle, I’ll play at Newcastle. If I’m not, I’ll go elsewhere.
“It means a lot to be playing now.
“I’m in the latter stages of my career. In recent months, I haven’t done that, which is very frustrating.
“I feel like I’m fit and strong enough to compete with anyone here at Newcastle. Hopefully, I can push for a place.”
Ameobi gave United an injury scare against Rio Ave after falling awkward on his hand, but he quickly recovered and was available to start against Pacos de Ferreira.
“It’s pre-season. At the end of the day, it doesn’t mean much,” he said.
“It was great to start my first game. I had a little niggle back in England and thankfully the hand injury wasn’t as bad as first thought. I felt stronger as the game went on.
“Scoring goals is what I’m about, and hopefully I can continue this nice vein of form.”
The game’s main talking point was the dismissal of Newcastle captain Fabricio Coloccini and Pacos de Ferreira goalscorer Caetano. They clashed late in a first half which had become increasingly ill-tempered.
“It went from being a friendly to very competitive,” said Ameobi. “There were a few tough tackles going in.
“I don’t think the ref dealt with them, and it just escalated.
“It’s disappointing that our captain got sent off, but I thought we coped really well.
“I know in a few instances their players reacted after the ball had gone.
“I think our captain took exception to that after seeing it happen four or five times, and the ref not really doing anything about it.
“You never want to react like that, but I didn’t feel the ref had to send both of them off.
“Worse things had happened in that game. It was s shame, but we dealt with it well.”
Ameobi has made 368 appearances – and scored 76 goals – in his 13 first-team seasons at United.