Football - Ameobi: We will keep fighting

Striker Shola Ameobi insists the Newcastle squad "have to keep on believing" after they plunged deeper into relegation trouble following a 2-1 defeat by Reading at St James' Park.

PA Sport

Adam Le Fondre came off the bench to score twice inside six second-half minutes as the Magpies imploded having dominated the opening 45 minutes. Alan Pardew's men would have been out of sight by half-time had it not been for the heroics of keeper Adam Federici but led only 1-0 courtesy of the returning Yohan Cabaye's superb 35th-minute free-kick.

But they wilted alarmingly after the break to lose a game they simply had to win in front of a disgruntled crowd of 49,411

They now find themselves just two points clear of the Barclays Premier League drop zone ahead of another huge fixture at Aston Villa - where they were relegated at the end of the 2008-09 season - on January 29.

Ameobi said: "There is no-one as frustrated as the players ourselves and the manager. We understand the team here is geared to win and when we are not doing that, the fans are entitled to [boo].

"But they have to keep on believing because as players, we are and we are working as hard as we can. We are just not getting the rub of the green at the moment and that's usually what happens when you are down there fighting in the relegation spots.

"The message from our point of view is keep on believing, keep on backing us and, hopefully, we can turn this around sooner rather than later.

"We have got a very good group of lads who have, I believe, the attitude that it takes to be a great side.

"Unfortunately, when you go on a losing run it's hard to break out of it and that's what we are finding now.

"But it's not for the lack of endeavour, not for the lack of trying and we have got characters in there who want to help this club win."

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