Ameobi lauds Kinnear impact

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Ameobi: Back in favour

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Shola Ameobi insists Joe Kinnear's arrival at Newcastle has revitalised the troubled North East club.

The Magpies striker is back in favour on Tyneside, producing a man of the match performance during a 2-2 draw with Manchester City on Monday.

Having become a forgotten man under previous boss Kevin Keegan, Ameobi is understandably delighted to welcome a new regime at St James' Park.

However, the former England U21 international is adamant that he is not the only one to have benefited from Kinnear's surprise appointment as interim boss, claiming the experienced coach has helped breath new life into a flagging outfit.

Focus

"You know what you are going to get with Joe Kinnear and I think that has been fantastic for us," Ameobi told the Daily Express.

"He has come in and has said the only people who can get us out of the situation we are in are ourselves.

"I think we were maybe feeling sorry for ourselves. As players we always want to win and we always try our best but you can use things as an excuse.

"He has installed belief in us which was lacking. When you haven't got a manager you haven't necessarily got a sense of direction and that can be tough.

"The problems at the club can make your mindset deviate, so it is great having a manager who has made us focus.

"I have enjoyed working under him and the team has found itself again. That has shown itself on the pitch with two battling displays. We now have to make it three."

Determination

Newcastle's next game pitches them against local rivals Sunderland in what promises to be a feisty Tyne-Wear derby.

As a Geordie native, Ameobi knows precisely how important securing local bragging rights will be to the Magpies faithful on Saturday.

"Hopefully we can bring to Sunderland all the guts and determination that we have shown in the last few games," he added.

"You don't want to be in the team that loses to Sunderland.

"I have never been on a losing team against them and that is something I am proud of and I want to keep my record going."