Ayoze Perez reveals what he needs to do before Newcastle return to action

Ayoze Perez intends to rest and recover during the international break '“ in readiness for the busiest month of his career.

Tuesday, 21st March 2017, 5:00 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 10:06 am
Newcastle United's Ayoze Perez.

Newcastle United return to action on April 1 with a home game against struggling Wigan Athletic.

It is the first of seven games for the Championship leaders next month.

And Perez – who started Saturday’s goalless draw against Birmingham City at St Andrew’s – feels the two-week break has come at a good time for the team.

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“After these few months with no break and a lot of games, it’s going to be good for us to rest our legs and our minds as well,” said the forward.

“We need a small rest. It can be good. We have to be ready for April. It’s going to be really busy.”

United manager Rafa Benitez has long said all season that the league would not be decided until April given that there are 21 points at stake.

And Perez added: “It’s really busy – it’s coming to the end.

“It’s the last month. We have to make sure we push until the end and make sure that we stay at the top.”

Perez – who signed a new deal at the club last season – has had to adjust to the physical demands of the Championship over the past seven months.

“You have to accept it (the challenge), deal with it and adapt to the league,” said the 23-year-old.

“It’s really different. It’s maybe less football and more physical.

“We have been doing well all season. We have adapted to the league quite well.

“There are still eight games to go and we have to make sure we go with everything and stay at the top.”

On his performance against Birmingham, he added: “I felt really well.

“It was a shame I couldn’t score. I had a few chances to score a goal, but the team felt much better.

“We were more comfortable on the ball and created chances.”

Matt Ritchie helped a shot from Perez over the line, but the goal was disallowed by referee Simon Hooper for offside.

“I don’t think it was offside, but the referee made the decision,” said Perez. “You have to respect that.

“Now we have to rest ourselves and make sure we are focused on a busy April.”