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The Magpies striker has insisted that the other teams in the race for fourth place have more to prove, giving the Tyneside club the advantage in the final stages of the season

Shola Ameobi has insisted that Newcastle United are determined to secure Champions League football for next season but that they are not under pressure to do so.

The Nigerian-born forward wants to secure a place in Europe and argues that a spot in the continent's top competition as opposed to the Europa League would be a bonus.

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“There are a lot of very good teams above us who probably think they deserve the Champions League spot more than we do," Ameobi told the Newcastle Evening Chronicle.

“It’s who can get out from these next five games on top. It’s about who can manage their expectations, and go out and execute what they have to do.

“Like I said, we’ve got no pressure on ourselves. We want to play in Europe. That’s what we want – European football.

“People talk about the Champions League, but let’s focus on the next game, and making sure we stay in a European spot.

“That’s as far as we want to look, if we get more than that, great, but what want to do is secure European football.”

The Magpies have won five league games in a row to propel them within touching distance of fourth place, currently sitting behind Spurs on goal difference, and Ameobi is determined to keep that good form going until the end of the campaign.

“We looked at the last 10 games, and set ourselves targets," he explained. “To win five games in a row is pretty fantastic.

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“We’re in this position – and we’ve been in it for a while now – and we want to stay there.

“We want to keep that gap between ourselves and the rest. We knew that we had a little stretch where we could do very well, especially at home.

“We’re excited. The last five games are a different proposition. The sky’s the limit for us – there’s no pressure at all.

“I think you can see that when we go out on the pitch.”

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