Ayoze Perez reflects on a '˜tough' campaign at Newcastle

Ayoze Perez wants a grandstand finish to Newcastle United's season at St James's Park.

Thursday, 26th April 2018, 7:00 am
Newcastle United's Ayoze Perez celebrates scoring.

Rafa Benitez’s side take on West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.

The club’s four-game winning run was brought to an end by Everton on Saturday.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Newcastle, 10th in the Premier League and safe from the threat of relegation, have four games left to play.

United are unbeaten at St James’s Park this year – their last defeat on home turf was to champions Manchester City on December 27 – and the club’s two remaining home games are sold out.

Newcastle could record their highest average attendance since 1949

“Hopefully, it will be another great atmosphere at home with our fans and we need to keep our momentum at home,” said Perez, who has scored on his last two home appearances.

“We’re doing really well at the minute.

“After this defeat, we have to come back to training and make sure we’re ready for the next one.

“You have to keep going. The goal (of achieving Premier League safety) is done, but you have to keep going until the end.

“There are still four games to play. What is true is that we have to keep going and getting points. We have a big chance to finish in the top.

“That would be an amazing season. That’s where we have to keep our focus and getting points.”

A second-half strike from Theo Walcott saw Everton win 1-0 at Goodison Park.

The goal came from the home side’s only shot on target.

“They started really well with high tempo,” said 24-year-old Perez.

“It was a little bit hard to organise ourselves in the first half.

“Then, in the second half, I think we dominated a little bit more. We pushed up, but the goal made the difference.

“We’ve done really well over the last couple of months. Our goal is done.

“We’re safe, but now we’re going to keep climbing the table. We had a big chance (against Everton), but we didn’t take it. We have to keep going and keep pushing. There are just four more games.

“It’s not long to go now, just four more games. We have to be professional and concentrate and do our best. We were a bit unlucky (against Everton).

“We could have scored a couple of times. We go again against West Brom.”

Perez – who has scored seven goals in all competitions – made a timely return to form for Newcastle.

Reflecting on the season, Perez said: “It’s been tough. It’s been a long season with good moments and bad moments.

“We had a great run and will be in the Premier League again next year.

“The run has come to an end, but we have to realise that we’ve got another game on Saturday and the season is still not done. As professionals, we have to keep giving our best.

“You always need to play well. The team is doing well at this chapter of the season when everybody’s more tired.

“We’re still doing well. We’re in a great position and have to keep going. I’m happy when I score.”