By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Managing Editor
Long-serving striker Shola Ameobi believes he still has plenty to offer Newcastle United, ahead of Saturday's trip to Aston Villa.
With three goals to his name during pre-season, the big front man went on to net against Morecambe in the second round of the Capital One Cup before opening his Nigeria account on Tuesday.
Ameobi, who has been handed starting roles in United's last two Premier League fixtures alongside Papiss Cisse, told nufc.co.uk he has ignored speculation about potential rivals for his place in the side, and instead has faith in his ability to fire the Magpies up the Premier League table.
"I feel I can still play for Newcastle in this side," said the 31-year-old.
"I haven't got the luxury of picking the side, however, so I can only do what I can do. I feel confident in myself and my ability that I can compete with whoever else is at the Club.
"There was a lot of talk about other strikers coming into the Club (during the transfer window) but that has always been the case here.
"All I do is keep on working hard and plugging away to make sure I am playing in this team."