Sammy Ameobi

By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter

Sammy Ameobi insists he's ready to make up for lost time in the season ahead after missing the second half of the previous campaign through injury.

He had been a regular impact substitute from the bench and broken into the England under-21 team before suffering a blow to his knee while playing for the Reserves against Wigan in January.

But he's worked hard to return to full fitness and showed during Saturday's 2-1 win over SC Braga that he's lost none of his pace, skill or trickery.

"The gaffer told me to express myself," 20-year-old Ameobi told "He believes in the talent I am and he was backing me to run at players, and I wanted to do that and hopefully I can continue to do it.

"I'd played on Friday night (against Olympiakos) so to start off with I felt a bit stiff, but when I ran it off I felt good about myself, so I'm looking forward to keeping fit and continuing doing what I'm doing."

Goals from Demba Ba and Ryan Taylor were decisive as Newcastle won the Trofeu Internacional de Futebol do Giuadiana courtesy of their win against Braga and the previous night's draw with Olympiakos.

And beating a side who finished third in the Portuguese top flight last season and will be bidding to reach the Champions League group stages next month was pleasing for Ameobi.

"It was a massive achievement, I think," he said. "They're a great side and we knew it was going to be tough when we first came out but we stuck at it.

"We got a goal but unfortunately they got a goal back, but we still stuck and it, got the win and won the tournament, which is good.

"Everyone wants to win games and trophies, don't they? So it's good that we got to do that on Saturday and I'm looking forward to the season and seeing if we can get more trophies."

United fly back from the Algarve on Tuesday and Ameobi said of the trip: "I've really enjoyed it.

"I think getting a lot of game time is good for me, because I've been injured for a while, and I'm just enjoying being with the lads and stuff. It's a great bunch of lads.

"Obviously it was unfortunate what happened, but it's all in the past now and I'm back to doing what I'm doing.

"I'm looking forward to the season and getting back into the England under-21 set-up and see where we can go from there, really."