Date: 3rd May 2007 at 2:31pm
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17 goals in his opening season is a fantastic return for a kid who had previously spent most of his career warming the bench in a different climate in a different type of football. It`s even more impressive given the pants service he`s been provided from our ever changing midfield. However the best impression made is the way he`s tackled wearing a number 9 shirt some even wanted retired from use. After watching shrinking violets like Tomasson and Andersson buckle under the weight of trying to match up to Shearer the impression Oba has made has been brilliant. Here he speaks about coping with the burden of that pressure:

“I have been happy with my first season, but it was never going to be easy. Wearing the Newcastle No 9 shirt is difficult because everyone knows the history behind it. They had Alan Shearer before I came here, and he is a legend. When I first arrived I was scared about it because he is such a big name, but now I feel great and want to finish the season on a high. I have happy memories of playing Blackburn – we won 3-1 and I scored two goals. Now we have to play them again in an important game and we have to go out and get the same result because we really, really need the points.

I remember the two goals and I was pleased with them, but now we have to play again so I cannot think about them too much. We lost our last game at Reading so we need to go out and get a good result. At Reading we played well in stages, but we need to take that into the Blackburn game on Saturday. We all have to get on with the job and the job is to win. I have two games left to reach 20 goals and I will try my very best to do it.

It has been a good first year in English football and the players and the coaches have helped me a lot. I am happy to stay here and looking forward to next season. I like the new kit and I know how important it is to wear the black-and-white shirt. It suits me and I hope to wear it for a long time. I would love to be the first player to score in the new kit. I have the possibility to do that, but the most important thing is to win.’