Ayoze Perez says Newcastle United will not become complacent in crucial Championship week

Confidence is growing within the Newcastle United camp as the Championship promotion race ramps up, according to Ayoze Perez.

Wednesday, 1st March 2017, 3:22 pm
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 9:58 am
Ayoze Perez wheels away after netting Newcastle's winner

But the Spaniard says the players will not get complacent, despite their dramatic return to the top of the second tier table last night.

A goal down and staring defeat to promotion rivals Brighton in the face, United completed a remarkable comeback, with substitute Perez popping up with a late winner to ensure the Magpies leapfrogged their rivals back to the second tier summit.

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Although delighted to be top of the pile again, Perez says the players will not lose focus with an even more crucial trip to Huddersfield on the horizon.

"After this game the confidence has grown a little bit," he told NUFC TV.

"Now we are back at the top but we have to focus on Huddersfield.

Speaking of the Amex Stadium win, Perez said: "It's a massive win for us.

"In the first half they started a bit better than us - this is normal, they are playing at home.

"But the way that we finished the first half we knew that we could come back in the game."

Mo Diame's fortuitous effort got the ball rolling for Rafa Benitez's men before Perez, off the bench for Yoan Gouffran, popped up in the 89th minute.

Perez admits he has not scored a more meaningful goal in his career.

"It means a lot," he said.

"We completed a great comeback.

"Between us and the supporters, who were always supporting us, we managed to stay in the game after a difficult start.

"It was big because of the importance.

"It was a big goal in an important minutes. It means a lot for us."

Part one of three is done for United, with two games against fellow promotion hopefuls the Terriers and Reading to come.

Perez has offered his own assessment of who he thinks will earn promotion from the second tier, when the season ends on May 7.

"They [Brighton} are a great team," he said.

"They are going to stay up there with us.

"But all we can do is look at ourselves.

"It is important for us that we stay top."