SHOLA Ameobi insists there are no grounds for “panic” at Newcastle United – despite admitting the team’s start to the season has been “disappointing”.
United are mired in mid-table after a mediocre first eleven games of the campaign, their enjoyable European campaign proving a stark contrast to ordinary domestic form.
There are plenty of reasons for the start, not least the loss of key players through injury and an inability to settle on the best system that is probably due to a lack of training ground time with the squad.
All of that is acknowledged by Ameobi, who confesses Newcastle’s start has been a shade uninspiring.
He prefers to look on the bright side, however, pointing out United are playing well within themselves – and when they start to hit top gear they will again re-assert themselves in the battle for fourth and a Champions League spot.
Reflecting on the first eleven games, Ameobi said: “We haven’t been beaten that much but we haven’t won that much either.
“It’s not the start we had last year but there’s a long way to go and there’s ability in this squad.
“We’re disappointed but we’re not panicking. There’s a long way to go and s a lot of improvement to do on our part.
“It’s not as if we’ve been at the top of our game and losing games. We have a little bit more to come and when that does come we’ll be alright.”
United’s West Ham woes means the pressure has been piled on the team ahead of Saturday’s visit of Swansea.
The South Wales outfit are only a point behind Newcastle in the league but, if United are to live up to the expectations that Pardew has of them, it is the sort of game they are expected to win.
Ameobi – who was in Miami on international duty with Nigeria last night – expects the pressure to be on United on Satuday – and welcomes it.
He added: “We’ve been saying all season ‘a win here will put us up there’ and we said it last week against West Ham.
“Now it is the case for Swansea; losing that match puts a little bit more pressure on us.
“I think as players you thrive on that pressure a little bit.
“When the pressure was on last season we responded, hopefully we can do it again this time.
“We need to make sure we start off a lot better than we did last weekend and give ourselves a chance.
“Get that lead and it breeds confidence and you play that bit better. We need to establish a better start in the game because if we go behind teams will sit back and defend.”