Scorching hot Perez aiming even Ay-er as survival is in sight
IN-FORM MAGPIES STRIKER INSISTS HE WON’T SETTLE FOR SIMPLY STAYING UP
NEWCASTLE United star Ayoze Perez is simply too hot to handle for Premier League defences at the moment.
His form has spearheaded United’s bid to secure top-flight survival, but he is refusing to settle for simply staying up and now has his eyes on securing a respectable finish in the table.
The Spaniard has netted three goals in his last three games to help the Magpies record consecutive victories and climb into the top 10 of the Premier League. Perez has had his critics in the past but he is on course to end the season as the club’s top scorer and, playing under a manager who fully believes in him, he will be confident of keeping up his superb run. After bagging three goals and two assists in his last three matches, Perez told the Chronicle: “It means a lot to the club and a lot to me personally. “I still get that feeling of some type of euphoria when I score a goal at St James’ Park. I can’t explain it in some ways.
“But I still get it every time I score here.
“I am always happy to help the team and beat a top side like we did.”
Newcastle’s win over Arsenal virtually guaranteed top-flight status for another season along with another huge injection of TV money.
Perez was delighted to do it in real style against one of the division’s top six.
He reflected: “Arsenal are a great team and it was a super effort from the boys again.
“It has been a great part of the
We have to be professional until the end of the season and finish as high as we possibly can Ayoze Perez
season for us. We are getting a lot of points and Newcastle will be a Premier League team next year, which is the most important thing.” Perez is finding his killer touch in front of goal at just the right time, although he has insisted that his workrate has never dipped. Indeed, the former Tenerife striker is still making the same type of runs into the box as he was for the majority of the season. He said: “Knowing DeAndre, he always loves to make those runs forward and make crosses. “I remember last season scoring a similar goal. “It was a great little touch and it went in so I was really happy.” Not content with scoring the equaliser, Perez then chipped in with an impressive assist for Matt Ritchie to grab the winner in front of the Gallowgate End. Perez added: “The team suffered a little bit at this stage of the game and we were a little bit tired. “But we still fought until the end. “We did quite well and had the chance to score the second goal.
“And Matt got a great goal to win the game before he went over to the corner and went crazy to celebrate it! “It was a great moment in the season. “This feeling was really enjoyable and we want that to continue.”
Newcastle then had to hold out to claim three important points before their Premier League status for next season was declared in the eyes of the players and Benitez.
Now, United players are hungry for more, Perez said: “We went on to get the three points that are really important to us. “Now we want more though. “We have to be professional now until the end of the season and finish as high as we possibly can.”
Chief sports writer
Ayoze Perez celebrates after scoring United’s first goal (above) against Arsenal at the weekend - his third in his last three games