Ameobi aims for mentor role at Fleetwood

Shola Ameobi
Shola Ameobi

Former Premier League hotshot Shola Ameobi is ready to become a mentor to Fleetwood’s young strikeforce.

The 34-year-old made his debut on Saturday as Steven Pressley’s Fleetwood Town side climbed out of the drop zone for the first time in a month thanks to a 0-0 stalemate at Port Vale.

Ameobi was unable to convert his best opportunity of the game after Antoni Sarcevic’s shot had smashed the underside of the bar.

But the Nigeria international hopes he can make a difference as Fleetwood battle against the drop.

“It’s going to take time to get to know how everyone’s playing,” Ameobi said. “Certainly over the next couple of weeks, when I get match-fit, there’s a lot for us to work with. I’m excited just to be playing and for that’s fantastic.

“I just want to keep working hard and hopefully add to the quality we need to help us get up the table.”

The long-serving Newcastle frontman is no stranger to a relegation battle, having suffered the drop at St James’ Park and recently spent three months with Championship crisis club Bolton.

“I’ve had it all through my career,” he said. “It’s nothing new to me. I’ve always been one to love a battle and that’s going to be the case for us.

“But I think we’ve got a lot of quality in there, and if we can show the right mentality at certain times in games we can definitely go up the table.”

Ameobi was pleased with what Fleetwood offered at Vale Park, despite of another frustrating draw.

There was plenty of fighting spirit from Town and he said: “There are going to be tough times in games, and sometimes with a young squad it’s hard to know when to calm the game down.

“Those are the things we have to work on. As a senior player I’m going to have to help the squad and support them.

“But we had the fight. We had the belief and that’s a good starting point.”

While goals might be a priority – Fleetwood have regularly struggled to find the net this term – Ameobi wants to put his time at Highbury to good use in other ways.

And with young guns like Ash Hunter and Devante Cole in the set-up, as well as Chelsea forward Alex Kiwomya, Ameobi believes he can be a mentor figire

“I take it very seriously,” he said. “I’ve got to make sure my game is where it’s supposed to be but also help the lads around me, especially the young lads.

“I had that when I was a young player and it’s invaluable to gain experience from older pros.

“Hopefully I can lend my sixpence worth, my little bit of experience that I’ve gained and help them along the way.”

Meanwhile, Steven Pressley will press on with his efforts to bolster Fleetwood Town’s threadbare squad.

Antoni Sarcevic and Eggert Jonsson both returned to action at Port Vale but Town are still missing Jimmy Ryan in central midfield and regular centre-backs Nathan Pond and Joe Davis.

The Gazette understands Fleetwood had a defender in on trial last week but are unlikely to pursue him, meaning Pressley’s hunt goes on.

And the manager made it clear he was desperate to avoid a repeat of last week’s nightmare scenario, when five first- choice players were sidelined.

Pressley said: “We need a centre-half but I also think we need another midfield player in the club, I genuinely do.

“We’ve kept having to ask the same players to go to the well all the time, even when they had knocks and problems. As a result we had the injury crisis.

“I want to be able to reduce the load on those players, so I think in both the centre-back and midfield areas we need to improve.”