SAMMY Ameobi is becoming a marked man at Wanderers but Phil Parkinson has backed his winger to cope with the extra attention.

After another starring role in Saturday’s 2-1 win over Norwich City, the former Newcastle United star picked up a nomination for the PFA Championship player of the month.

Parkinson feels more opposition managers are starting to single Ameobi out as a key threat.

“You have to give Sammy a lot of praise,” he told The Bolton News. “He’s come in and really lifted us.

“He’s got that ability to take us up the pitch with the ball and gives the opposition manager something to think about. You have a quick, 6ft 4ins wide man who can cut inside on his left foot – do you double up on him?

“You can see teams making that decision every week but the great thing for us is that he is improving, getting stronger and fitter and learning his role in the team.”

Parkinson feels Ameobi is now reaching top condition after missing the first two months of the campaign with a knee injury.

“I’m pleased with his fitness levels too,” he said. “A couple of weeks ago on 65 minutes I needed to get him off the pitch, but (on Saturday) I shouted on to him and he gave me the thumbs up. He wanted to see the game through.”

Wanderers have climbed off the foot of the table for the first time since the start of September but Parkinson is putting no timescale or targets on the club’s survival effort.

“We want to make sure we’re in amongst it in January and then we can try to improve the squad, as everyone else will be looking to do. But that’s the longer-term,” he said.

“Short-term I am looking at the next game. What can I do to beat Preston North End away?

“We have to keep building on what we have been doing. There is a really good spirit amongst the players and we haven’t got the riches of other clubs – like Norwich with their parachute payments – but we have to make up for it in other areas.”

VOTE for Sammy Ameobi to win the PFA Bristol Street Motors Fans' Player of the Month Award here.