Shola Ameobi admits it will be a ‘tall order’ for Newcastle United as they return to the Champions League after a two-decade absence. However, the former Magpies striker is ‘excited’ by the club’s trajectory so far under the new owners and is looking forward to the ‘ride’ of watching the team face off against Europe’s elite.
Eddie Howe’s first full season in charge finished with an unexpected top-four finish, along with a first domestic cup final appearance at Wembley in 24 years. The Toon Army are now eagerly awaiting the Champions League group-stage draw, with the fourth seeds likely to face a number of heavyweights.
Rather than dwelling on the scale of the task facing Newcastle next season, Ameobi has chosen to focus on the excitement of featuring in the competition. Now working as the club’s loan coordinator alongside Peter Ramage, the ex-striker believes the owners are already reaping the rewards of their ‘sustainable’ approach so far.
Ameobi told Sky Sports: “It’s going to be a tall order. You’ve got the likes of Man City, all the top teams around Europe… but this is the vision that’s getting everyone excited.
“As a fan, you want to hear the chairman saying they want to make this club what we all want it to be. That’s what is exciting, doing it and going about it the right way, in a sustainable manner, you’ve got a real good team with Darren Eales and Dan Ashworth from a football operations point of view, making sure we’re going about it the right way.
“So for me, being involved in that is a huge learning curve but hugely exciting. I do believe that we’ll get there, these guys are not just buying our club for the sake of it. They want to make it successful, that’s what is exciting and we all along with the rest of the fans look forward to the ride that’s to come.”