By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter
Sammy Ameobi has spoken of his disappointment after being ruled out for several months with a knee injury sustained in the Reserves' win over Wigan this week.
But the 19-year-old hopes to come back "stronger then ever" - and revealed how his mood has been lifted by the support of the Newcastle fans, his team-mates and a phone call from England under-21 manager Stuart Pearce.
Ameobi has made 13 appearances for Newcastle this season (12 of them from the bench) but limped off after just over an hour of the second-string success at United's training ground on Tuesday, having shone in front of the watching Alan Pardew.
When nufc.co.uk caught up with him in an exclusive interview, he was on crutches and admitted it was a huge blow for him after the huge strides he has made in recent months.
"Definitely," he said. "I'd had a good start to the season so to have an injury like this has just killed me a little bit. It's going to be tough mentally for me to get round it, but hopefully I'll be able to so and get back as soon as possible. That's the plan.
"It was just a 50-50 challenge and I came off worse, but that's football. Sometimes it goes your way, sometimes it doesn't but hopefully I can come back from this stronger than ever.
"It's deep bruising in my bone on the left side of my knee. It's all swollen up but they have to treat it like it's a fracture so that's why it's going to be such a long time.
"I'd say it's the second bad injury I've had, but the first one was when I was in the Academy. But obviously since I've got to where I am today, this is the first big blow so hopefully I'll get back soon. It's just about patience, really.
"It's nice that everybody has given me so much attention and I'm glad that people have said they can't wait to get me back soon, so hopefully I'll be able to do that for them and come back stronger."
Ameobi has won two caps for England at under-21 level, making his debut as a substitute against Iceland in November before making his first start against Belgium later the same month.
And he said: "Stuart Pearce called me yesterday and consoled me, which was good.
"He basically said 'get well soon,' and I think he wants me to come down when they play at Middlesbrough (against Belgium) in February, to see the boys, so I'd love to do that.
"To know that I was going to be part of his plans is obviously a good thing so hopefully when I'm back, I'll continue to be part of his plans and go from there.
"And as for Newcastle, I'll be coming to all the games I can. It's the team I support, the team I love, so I'll be there whenever I can."