SHOLA Ameobi has already written himself into Geordie folklore with his derby record.
And the Newcastle United striker has more goals in his sights ahead of Saturday’s visit to the Stadium of Light.
Only Jackie Milburn (11) has more strikes against Sunderland to his name than Ameobi, who has netted six times in Tyne-Wear fixtures.
Ameobi’s career tally for the club stands at 70 goals at the start of his 12th first-team campaign at St James’s Park.
And having signed a contract extension this month taking him to 2014, Ameobi’s looking to break into treble figures over the coming campaigns.
“Every time I score, it’s a great feeling,” Ameobi said.
“I don’t really pay too much attention to statistics, and stuff like that – I just try and do my best on a game to game basis.
“But it’s great to be able to say I’ve scored that many goals for the club I support and love. Hopefully, I can add to that tally.
“Every striker wants to score as many goals as he can, and certainly (treble figures) that’s something I want to target.
“I know that if I can stay fit, I don’t see any reason why I can’t get to treble figures.
“I want to stay healthy over the next couple of years, touch wood, and help the club achieve the goals that Alan Pardew and the club have.”
Ameobi, given his derby record, is likely to be one of the first names on manager Alan Pardew’s team-sheet, while his younger brother Sammy, 19, will hope to again be on the bench.
Pardew partnered Ameobi with Demba Ba in last Saturday’s goalless draw against Arsenal, but the summer recruit was withdrawn at half-time after a low-key debut and replaced by Gabriel Obertan.
Former Manchester United flier Obertan is pushing for a start, as is fellow midfielder Dan Gosling, who made his Newcastle debut in last season’s 1-1 draw away to Sunderland.
The 21-year-old, an unused substitute against Arsenal, has played in Merseyside derbies. Gosling, then aged 19, scored an FA Cup winner against Liverpool five games into his Everton career.