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Derby 17:30 Newcastle

Ameobi welcomes Best form

Newcastle striker hails team-mate

Last Updated: 23/09/11 3:25pm

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Best: Has been in impressive form for the Magpies this season

Best: Has been in impressive form for the Magpies this season

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Newcastle's Shola Ameobi has praised his strike-partner Leon Best for his impressive start to the season.

Best has scored three goals in five appearances for the Magpies but failed to win a call-up to the Republic of Ireland Euro 2012 qualification squad which was announced on Friday.

In contrast, Ameobi has made just one start this season, when he partnered Best in the 0-0 draw with QPR earlier in September.

Best was rested for the Carling Cup win over Nottingham Forest on Tuesday night, signalling manager Alan Pardew's intentions to start him against Blackburn Rovers this weekend.

The Toon remain unbeaten this season and are fourth in the table, behind only Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea.

Speculation has persisted over the summer regarding a new striker signing for the club, but Ameobi feels as though Best has proven that he has the ability to succeed.

Confidence

He said: "He (Best) has just grown in confidence - that's what scoring goals does for you, especially strikers.

"When he first joined us, he found it difficult to adjust. Experience is a big thing and he's continued to grow. You can see that this season.

"He's leading the line well and getting goals. It can only be good for the team.

"As a player, you want to be pushed all the way, and that's what he's doing. That's what I've got to do to get my place back. It can only bode well for the team.

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