Ayoze Perez opens up on Steve McClaren’s decision to drop him at Newcastle

Aleksandar Mitrovic and Ayoze Perez
Aleksandar Mitrovic and Ayoze Perez

Ayoze Perez says he “respects” Steve McClaren’s decision to leave him on the bench – but he hopes to be back in the starting XI sooner rather than later.

The forward was named as a substitute for Newcastle United’s last two games, the victories over Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool.

Perez scored a winner for McClaren’s side after coming off the bench at White Hart Lane last weekend.

The result saw the club move up to 15th in the Premier League table after a troubled spell in the relegation zone.

Having claimed three valuable points for United, Perez is hoping for a recall against basement club Aston Villa at St James’s Park this evening.

“I had to make an impact when I came on – that’s my job,” said Perez.

I had to make an impact when I came on – that’s my job. I have to be ready when the manager thinks I should come on, and do it properly.”

Ayoze Perez

“I have to be ready when the manager thinks I should come on, and do it properly.”

Perez’s omission from the starting XI against Liverpool had surprised fans given his form.

The Spain Under-21 international has been one of the club’s most consistent performers this season.

And his strike in the club’s dramatic 2-1 win over Tottenham took his goal tally for the season to four.

But the 22-year-old said: “In the Premier League there are many rotations – I respect that.

“What I have to do is try to take the minutes I have.”

Perez – a potential January target for Manchester United and Tottenham – has had “talks” with head coach McClaren about his role.

“I have had some talks (with McClaren),” he said.

“He knows what I can give to the team, and if he sees that I’m not at my best, there is no problem to start on the bench.

“I accept that but working to return to the team. This is my job.”

He added: “Let’s see what happen in the next games.”

Summer signing Aleksandar Mitrovic also came off the bench at White Hart Lane.

The striker – who has partnered Perez up front this season – cancelled out Eric Dier’s first-half strike and set up a remarkable victory.

“We’re really happy for him because he works hard for himself and the team every day,” said Perez.

“He’s a really nice guy. We both scored and we won, so everyone is happy.”

After the Tottenham game, Perez, signed from Tenerife last year, admitted he was flattered by speculation linking him with a move to White Hart Lane.

However, he is not looking to leave the club next month.

Perez added: “I am very happy at Newcastle – they gave me everything.

“I want to continue working with them, trying to climb on the table, and then whatever have to happens, will happen.”