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Ameobi hoping for more of the same

Newcastle striker Shola Ameobi would count finishing fifth again this season as the greatest achievement of his career.

The Magpies defied expectations last season to finish just outside the Champions League qualifying spots.

Ameobi, 30, is the longest serving member of the Newcastle squad, having played in both European competition for the club, whilst also suffering the pain of relegation from the top-flight.

The 30-year-old told the Journal: "It's certainly going to be really difficult to replicate what we did last season.

"Just look at teams such as Liverpool and Chelsea - I can't see them doing as badly this time in terms of where they finished in the league last season, so we are going to have to raise the bar again. If we did manage to do that, for me, it would mean finishing in a European spot again this season. Certainly, as I look back at my career with Newcastle, to do that this time would be our biggest every achievement.''

Ameobi has been with the club since a young age, and broke into the first team when Sir Bobby Robson was the manager in the 2001-02. In his time at Newcastle the local boy has gone through all the emotions from despair to elation.

As a result, he is revelling in the relative calm which exists at the moment.

He said: "There is not much chaos around these days, which is unusual when you look at what's happened over the years here. But it's fantastic. The manager and staff have built a good team and it's now all about the football, and that's great to see. It's brilliant to be part of that.''

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