Ameobi grateful for chance to shine

Shola Ameobi
Shola Ameobi celebrates putting Newcastle a goal ahead against Bordeaux. Photo: PA

Shola Ameobi was pleased to prove his worth to the Newcastle side after scoring the opener in their Europa League Group D win over Bordeaux.

The striker will not score an easier goal in his career, turning into an empty net following good work by Girondins old boy Gabriel Obertan.

Brazilian defender Henrique put into his own net before Papiss Cisse's tremendous finish in the second half sealed a comfortable 3-0 victory for the Toon.

Ameobi has been a peripheral figure on Tyneside since the emergence of Cisse and Demba Ba but was glad to remind manager Alan Pardew of his all-round capabilities.

"As a striker you want to get off the mark as quickly as possible at the start of the season," he told ESPN.

"I'm just delighted to get a chance there today. The strikers at the club are doing very well at the moment and I have to take my chances when I get them.

"I just thank God that the chance fell to me and I couldn't have scored an easier goal. The team were fantastic."

Midfielder Yohan Cabaye was also glad to see Newcastle emerge victorious and go top of the group.

"We played well," he said. "It was very important to get the three points tonight to get the first place in the group.

"Every player played well and we must have a quick turnaround because it's going to be a tough game (against Manchester United) on Sunday."

Pardew was delighted with the performance of his side, who comprehensively ended Bordeaux's 17-game unbeaten run in all competitions - a run stretching back to April 8.

Newcastle have only been beaten once in the Barclays Premier League this season but have been largely lacklustre.

On this evidence, however, Pardew feels they have now turned a corner.

"What pleased me most was that we played with verve and energy again and we looked more like ourselves from last year," he said.

"The performance level was fantastic and that's a good side, trust me. We had to play very, very well to make it as comfortable as it was.

"I can't say the result flattered us because in the end I thought we deserved to win by a distance.

"We knocked the spirit out of them in terms of the goals, the clinical nature of them.

"Our passing in the second half made it very difficult for them to get back in the game and that's something we've been working on, controlling games.

"That's a team that haven't been beaten in 17 games or something. I'm telling you that's a great result for us."