Shola Ameobi out to mark 50th European appearance for Newcastle with success
Shola Ameobi wants Newcastle to extend their Europa League run as he closes on a landmark 50th European appearance.
Last Updated: 13/03/13 10:23am
No outfield player has made more appearances for Newcastle against foreign opposition than Ameobi, who could reach his half century in the second leg of their last 16 tie against Anzhi Makhachkala at St James' Park on Thursday night.
That milestone would see him pass former Magpies star Alan Shearer's tally of 49 and leave him just 12 outings behind goalkeeper Shay Given, who holds the club's all-time record.
The 31-year-old, a youth product at Newcastle, is intent on marking the occasion by helping Alan Pardew's men into the last eight, with the tie finely balanced at 0-0 after last week's opening leg in Russia.
He said: "It's remarkable really because I didn't know I have now played 49 games in Europe. I was shocked.
"I'm a lucky boy. Every time I have put on the Newcastle shirt I have added myself to the history of the club and that means so much to me.
"I'm flying the flag for Newcastle and that is so important to me. Now I just want to get us into the last eight, where anything is possible.
"We are very determined to put our best foot forward and get through against Anzhi."
Ameobi is expecting a special evening on Tyneside and has called on Newcastle to take inspiration from Chelsea's surprise UEFA Champions League-winning campaign last year.
He said: "As we have seen in Europe in the last few seasons, especially with Chelsea last year, if you put yourself in the mix towards the end of a tournament anything can happen, so I'm very excited.
"European nights are always special for Newcastle and it doesn't matter who we are playing against they are great occasions.
"I've enjoyed some memorable games in Europe with the club and I hope we have another one on Thursday."