NEWCASTLE United’s Sammy Ameobi says he’s playing for his future every time he steps on to the pitch.
The forward is in the last year of his contract at St James’s Park.
And Ameobi – told by United manager Alan Pardew last month that he is “running out of chances” at the club – has admitted the uncertainty about his future has concentrated his mind.
The 22-year-old came off the bench and set up Papiss Demba Cisse’s second equaliser in Saturday’s 2-2 draw against Swansea City.
Ameobi, pictured, is determined to make every minute on the pitch count for a club which is itself fighting for its Premier League status.
“I’m thankful for every chance I get,” Ameobi said.
“I’m happy I’m getting game time.
“Hopefully, I can continue to do that and help the team get some points on the board.”
Pardew said he hoped the “penny was dropping” for Ameobi after his performance at the Liberty Stadium, where he was brought on in preference to summer signing Remy Cabella.
“I’m in the last year of my contract, and I’m playing for my living,” said the England Under-21 international.
“I’ve started to concentrate and focus a lot more.
“I’m happy, and hopefully I can continue to play games and earn myself a contract – whether it be here or somewhere else.”
Ameobi, the younger brother of former United striker Shola, replaced Yoan Gouffran with the team trailing Swansea 2-1.
Told by Pardew to deliver balls into the box – Cisse’s first goal came from a right-wing cross from Gabriel Obertan – Ameobi made a series of runs down both flanks.
And Newcastle’s second breakthrough came in the 75th minute when he crossed from the right for Cisse.
Ameobi hopes it is the first of many assists this season for a team which has struggled in the final third of the pitch so far this term.
“It’s never easy to go 1-0 and 2-1 down against a team of that quality,” said Ameobi.
“We had some great graft, and we’re happy with the point.
“I just got on the end of a through pass and managed to get my toe to it before the defender came through.
“I’ve been practising crossing in training, and it seems to be paying off.
“I’ll keep on doing that, and hopefully get better.
“I’m really happy for Papiss. He had a tough time last season, and it’s good to see him getting on the scoresheet again.
“Hopefully, he’ll have a great season and get some goals and I can contribute to that.”