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‘We feel we can beat anybody’ says Newcastle’s James Perch

FORM ... Newcastle's James Perch has played well in recent games.

FORM ... Newcastle's James Perch has played well in recent games.

JAMES Perch is targeting a famous five with Newcastle United against Bolton Wanderers this afternoon.

The defender and his team-mates have won their last four games.

And another victory at St James’s Park would take them above Chelsea and into fifth place outright ahead of their visit to Fulham tonight.

Perch, deputising for the injured Fabricio Coloccini at centre-half, was outstanding in Newcastle’s Good Friday win over Swansea City, with Papiss Demba Cisse netting two goals in a 2-0 success.

“It would be great to get five out of five,” Perch told the Gazette.

“Bolton are a tough team to play against, but the way we’re playing at the moment, we feel we can beat anybody.

“That’s what we’re planning. We’ll see if it comes off again.

“It’s four wins out of four after Swansea, and we’re confident.

“Maybe it wasn’t us who played the best football at the Liberty, but we let Swansea have the ball and worked on our clean sheet and getting our two goals.”

Swansea dominated possession, but they struggled to carve out clearcut chances against Newcastle, who defended deep and in numbers, and the visitors were a danger on the break.

Perch went on: “It’s massive, and you have to give Swansea a lot of respect. We did that, because they are a very good team.

“Maybe what Man City and Arsenal tried to do was out-pass them and play them at their own game.

“I think Swansea are one of the best teams in the league for doing what they do, so you have to think outside the box. It shows what we’re about.”

Cisse’s goals took his goal tally for the season to nine, and the 26-year-old is one of the most in-form strikers in Europe, such has been his impact at St James’s Park since his January move from Freiburg.

“We left them up the field, and we knew we’d get space and time,” added Perch.

“With the quality that we’ve got up there, space and time is what we want them to have.

“To be fair, they punished Swansea. It’s brilliant as a centre-half to know that every time the ball goes in the opposition’s box, you have a chance of scoring a goal. It only takes a second.

“Once Papiss scored in the second half (to make it 2-0), it gave us a big sigh of relief.”

Newcastle, level on points with Chelsea, are looking to qualify for the Europa League in the final six games of an already-remarkable season, though a Champions League place isn’t yet beyond them.

“We have coped with almost everything,” said Perch.

“It is so pleasing for the club overall, but especially for the defence and Tim Krul. It’s massive.

“We know that if we kept a clean sheet, we’d have a chance. With the counter attacking style of play we’ve got, it gives us a great chance.”

Perch didn’t train last week after suffering a thigh injury in United’s 2-0 win over Liverpool.

However, with Coloccini and Steven Taylor sidelined, Perch simply had to play at the Liberty Stadium.

“It was fine – it was a slight thigh strain,” he said. “It was strapped up, and caused no problems.

“It was a bit of a risk, but having no other centre-halves, I was just patched up and sent out there. It held up, so I was pleased.”

 

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