Ayoze Perez is looking to fire Newcastle United out of the relegation zone – and save Steve McClaren’s job.
Perez netted the only goal of the game against Liverpool at St James’s Park last season.
As a striker, it is my job to score goals. I always try to help the team. If I can score, the team is going to be closer to winning, so I always want to help them. If I can score goals, it is much better.Ayoze Perez
Second-from-bottom United desperately need a Premier League victory after back-to-back Premier League defeats.
But they will face a team which has been revitalised by new coach Jurgen Klopp. Perez’s strike against Liverpool was only his second goal for Newcastle – and the forward’s looking for a repeat performance tomorrow.
“I have good memories from the game last season,” said Perez. “It was my second goal in a row. It was an important win.
“We are working hard to try and turn the season around this year and try to get a win. It would be really nice if I could repeat that moment from last year.”
Perez’s seven goals last season kept the club in the division.
And there is pressure on the 22-year-old, signed from Tenerife last year, to add to his three-goal tally this term.
“As a striker, it is my job to score goals,” said Perez.
“I always try to help the team. If I can score, the team is going to be closer to winning, so I always want to help them. If I can score goals, it is much better.”
Perez was signed as one for the future, but he quickly exceeded all expectations.
And the Spain Under-21 international has admitted that he surprised himself with his quick adaptation to English football.
“I didn’t expect to play as many games as I have played – or to score seven goals,” he said.
“But I think I have adapted very well to England and to the Premier League, so I am very happy.
“It was a big change for me. In Spain, they play a different style of football. So when I came here I had to adapt. I had to train to get fitter and stronger.
“I had to work on my body because the Premier League is especially tough. You have to work on your body because you come up against many physically strong opponents.
“I think the way I play is good for this league. Sometimes it is very hard because it is the best league in the world.
“You have to work really hard to get good things in this league.
“I have grown a lot as a person and as a player. It was a big step for me.”
Perez also feels he is learning from this season’s adversity.
“It is part of the learning process,” he said. “You have to live through different situations as a footballer.
“You have to stay strong when there are bad moments. But it is all part of your education. I have learned many things since I have been in England.”