Newcastle United’s Shola Ameobi guns for old pals

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SHOLA Ameobi still has fond memories of his loan stint at Stoke City – but the Newcastle striker will still be gunning for Tony Pulis’s Wembley-bound side on Saturday, writes MILES STARFORTH.

Ameobi was on loan when the Potters clinched promotion to the Premier League in 2008, and he returns to the Britannia Stadium this weekend as the Magpies look to consolidate their top-half standing.

The 29-year-old has warned his team-mates to expect a tough fight, knowing just how hard Stoke work.

Ameobi said: “Tony Pulis has done wonders for Stoke. To do what he’s done, and the fact he’s consolidated and pushed them on is testament to his managerial strengths.

“He knows how to get the best out of the players he brings in, and that’s what you look for in a manager.

“Tony Pulis has definitely got that, and that’s why they’re in the Premier League.

“I’ll look forward to it. Every time I go back I say ‘hi’ to everyone, but I’ll go there to get three points as a Newcastle player.

“As a club, we have to go out and fight tooth and nail to get that.

“They’re a good side, especially at home. We’ll have to show the character we’ve got, and what we’ve shown away from home this season.

“I’ll go there looking to win the game as a Newcastle player, and all formalities will be left on that white line. Hopefully, we’ll get a victory.”

Ameobi’s Stoke loan was restricted by a hamstring injury, but he recalled: “I was there for the promotion push. It was a great time for me. I was frustrated here, not really getting a chance, and I wanted to play football.

“That gave me a chance to do that, and I’ve got fond memories of my time there.”