By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter
Sammy Ameobi marked his first Newcastle appearance since February with a goal for the under-21s at Everton on Tuesday night, and now hopes to figure in the Magpies' final two matches of the season.
But his livewire performance, not only in the 90 minutes but also in extra-time of the Barclays Under-21 Premier League play-off clash, showed the benefit of his loan spell at Middlesbrough, where he scored on his debut and made nine Championship appearances in all.
"I wouldn't have ever got through that if I hadn't gone on loan - I probably wouldn't even have made 90," he smiled as he spoke to nufc.co.uk after the match.
"It shows that I'm improving fitness-wise as well as confidence-wise. I think I needed a string of games for fitness and confidence, playing football.
"The results went downhill - they just didn't go our way unfortunately - but hopefully they'll pick it up next season and I wish them all the best. I was glad to go out and I had a great time and we'll see - hopefully I'll get to play more football next season."
Ameobi's goal at Goodison was his first for the under-21s this term in his fourth appearance and he said modestly: "I just swiped at it and got lucky.
"But it went in and a goal's a goal. Hopefully I can continue scoring and take that into next season.
"I felt that from the start of the second half onwards, we bossed it. We got 3-2 up in extra time and it was a silly mistake from me - I just didn't realise there was someone behind me so I tried to let it go out for a goal kick but obviously they got the goal and won on penalties.
"So it's a bit unfortunate but throughout the game the lads played really well so I'm really proud of them.
"I think everyone's just improving little by little. Everyone's putting the effort in and it's showing on the pitch. We're getting games and taking them by the horns."
The 21-year-old travelled to Upton Park for United's draw at West Ham on Saturday but didn't make the final squad. However, he hopes to have a part to play between now and the final two games of the season.
"It's good to be back in the swing of things," he said. "I had a good week of training so hopefully I'll continue to do that this week and hopefully get in the squad at the weekend.
"I'd love to be a part of the next two games and hopefully help them get a win. You never know - maybe I'll be in the squad, maybe not, but hopefully we'll get a good result at QPR at the weekend."
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