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Horncastle: Title race wide open

Serie A 16 hours ago
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By ESPN Staff
Oct 26, 2005

Many happy returns for Newcastle

Newcastle United make their first visit to Blundell Park tonight since they beat Grimsby to clinch promotion to the top flight in May 1993.

And veteran midfielder Lee Clark, who led the Newcastle celebrations that day, is going back to Grimsby for the Carling Cup third round tie.

The Geordie, who made a sentimental return to his beloved Newcastle in the summer, said: 'That was a night anyone connected with United will never forget and a night I can still remember even though it was such a long time ago and I think it shows my age.

'But we are going back there tonight in different circumstances and we have to treat the game just the same as the derby match with Sunderland on Sunday.

'If we have any doubts that it is going to be a tough game we will just have to look back to what happened in the previous round to Tottenham at Grimsby.

'This isn't a second string competition. It's an opportunity for us to win some silverware and we want to go as far as we can in the Carling Cup.

'The club is on a bit of a high. It was a fantastic result and performance at the weekend and we have now got to keep it going. The supporters demand that.'

Clark was backed up by another of Newcastle's local lads, Shola Ameobi.

Ameobi scored two headers in the Tyne-Wear derby, which the Magpies eventually won 3-2, and will be looking to keep up his fine form against the Mariners.

He said: 'It is a chance to win a trophy, and it has been highly publicised that this club haven't done that for so long.

'There is no point beating Sunderland then not building on it at Grimsby. It can be a stepping stone for greater things if we do well down there and help us move on.

'We have to prove to the manager we can play like we did against Sunderland again.

'In terms of silverware, we were so disappointed last season after coming so close in Europe and the FA Cup.

'We need something special to bring a trophy here, and hopefully we can produce that in one of the two cups this year.'

Ameobi will be hoping to retain his place at Grimsby and may be joined by fellow Geordie Peter Ramage.

Although born in Nigeria, Ameobi, like London-born Steven Taylor, regards himself as a Geordie, having been raised on Tyneside.

Sunday's win over Sunderland saw five other Geordies apart from Ameobi on the field, and he had praise for them all.

He added: 'Peter Ramage was outstanding against Sunderland and did very well for somebody who hasn't played that much.

'To come into the team like he did on Sunday and play like that is testament to the player.

'Steven Taylor has come along even more this season and we had other Geordies against Sunderland in the team, like myself, Alan Shearer and Lee Clark as well as Michael Chopra.

'To have that many homegrown players in the team rarely happens, and the fans love to see them.'