Shola Ameobi provided Newcastle boss Alan Pardew with a timely nudge as he braced himself for a fresh battle to hold on to Demba Ba.

Whether or not signing a striker in January will remain a priority should Ba stay, as his manager would dearly love him to do, remains to be seen, but in the circumstances, Ameobi's match-winning intervention against QPR on Saturday could hardly have come at a more opportune moment.

The 31-year-old said: "It's been frustrating, sitting on the bench every week and watching the lads out there doing their best to try to win. As a player, you want to be involved and help in any way you can. At the moment, that's me coming off the bench and I just have to do what I can."

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