Date: 25th April 2006 at 1:12pm
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Shola Ameobi has made it known he wants that Newcastle United Number Nine shirt next season.

Shola Ameobi was warned not to play by his dentist after he chipped two front teeth in the victory over Wigan but decided to take the risk after coming through a training session on Friday with a special gum shield.

With United struggling with long-term injuries to Kieron Dyer, Alan Shearer and Michael Owen, Ameobi, 24, insisted he had to take the risk as the Magpies look to sneak into a European qualification place.

Ameobi: ‘I made a calculated decision and it paid off. There was a lot of pressure on me to play but I think I respond to that pressure.

‘I was a senior player on Saturday and I enjoyed that responsibility. Hopefully it’s a taste of what’s to come next season. It was hard at times because I couldn’t go for every ball because of my injury. But I’m delighted with my goals.’

Ameobi will once again lead the line against Birmingham City next weekend, while the best Michael Owen can hope for is a place on the substitutes’ bench.