Newcastle United receive fitness boost

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SAMMY Ameobi is set to return to boost Newcastle’s attacking options at Everton in their next Premier League match, writes Miles Starforth.

The striker was scheduled to return to full training today after more than a month on the sidelines.

Versatile Shane Ferguson – who missed pre-season through injury – is also fit after another frustrating spell on the sidelines.

With the notable exception of Hatem Ben Arfa – who scored Newcastle’s equaliser in Sunday’s 1-1 draw against Aston Villa – Alan Pardew’s attacking players are yet to hit form.

Ameobi, 20, impressed after breaking through into the team last season.

However, his campaign was ended prematurely by a knee injury, and Pardew – whose side travel to Everton on Monday, September 17 – will welcome the added competition Ameobi will bring to his squad.

Ameobi – who suffered a hamstring injury in late July – revealed on social networking site Twitter that he and Ferguson were set to return to training.

“After being beasted by fitness for the last 2 weeks me & @shane_fergie are finally fit to train,” he tweeted.

Ameobi’s elder brother, striker Shola, is also out with a hamstring problem, but the 30-year-old is close to returning to training himself.

Meanwhile, defender James Tavernier determined to force his way into Pardew’s plans – using his versatility as a strength.

With Ryan Taylor out for several months after suffering a cruciate ligament injury, and Danny Simpson sidelined by a hamstring problem, Tavernier, 20, is that much closer to a Premier League debut – even though Vurnan Anita could well start at right-back at Goodison.

“The main aim’s to get a starting XI spot,” Tavernier said.

“I want to be a Premier League starter for Newcastle. That’s my aim – to work hard and give the manager a headache.”

H Newcastle’s home games against Norwich (September 23) and West Brom (October 28) have been put back to Sundays because of the Magpies’ Europa League involvement. The home game against West Ham had already been put back to Sunday, November 11.