Ayoze Perez reacts to Newcastle’s 10-point Premier League haul – and reveals ‘upset’ Joselu’s reaction to missed chances

Newcastle United's Ayoze Perez.
Newcastle United's Ayoze Perez.

Ayoze Perez says Newcastle United have started as they mean to go on this season.

Rafa Benitez’s have taken 10 points from their first seven games.

At this stage of the season two years ago, United, then managed by Steve McClaren, had taken just three points.

Ninth-placed Newcastle came from behind to draw 1-1 with Liverpool at St James’s Park on Sunday.

And Perez believes that the club has made a positive start to the campaign.

“We’re on 10 points now, and to be honest, I think that’s a good number,” said the forward, who has started every league game so far this season.

“It could have been even better, but it’s a good start. I think if we had been offered this position at the start of the season, we would have taken it.

“We have to keep growing and improving, but we’ve shown that we are comfortable at this level. We have had a few different tests, but we showed against Liverpool that we can handle ourselves against a top side.

“Most people were probably expecting us to lose that game, but we gave everything to make sure we didn’t, and that is important.

“It was a great point against a top side. We had to realise it was going to be a really hard game.

“They played really well and were well-worked. It’s a really good point, and now we have a week to rest.”

Liverpool took the lead through a stunning Philippe Coutinho goal, but Joselu claimed a point with a 36th-minute strike

Newcastle had spent much of the first half on the back foot, but they were better with and without the ball after the break and finished the game strongly.

“They do well when they don’t have the ball,” said Perez.

“They press really well, and you don’t really get a chance to rest at any stage of the game. Then, on the ball, they move the ball quickly.

“They’re a complete team in many ways, but we fought really well against them. We got a goal just after conceding, and that was important. It was a good point for us.

“It was a different kind of test, but we showed we could handle it. We knew we were probably not going to be able to be as good as we would like to be on the ball.

“We had to adapt to that, and change our style of football to try to overcome Liverpool’s strengths.

“We tried to play on the counter-attack, and take advantage of the spaces in behind. There were times when we did that better than others, but it’s still a good point for us.

“We showed a good side to our character. We knew we were probably going to suffer in some minutes, because they move the ball and move around really well. They have pace on the wings, so it was hard.

“Sometimes, we realised we had to be deep and wait for a chance to counter-attack, but we stuck to the game plan and fortunately it worked.”

United manager Benitez had kept faith with Joselu after the striker missed a series of chances in the club’s previous two games.

“To be honest, he (Joselu) deserved that,” said Perez.

“There have been a couple of weeks where he’s been a bit upset because of the chances he had, but he scored, and hopefully that will start a run where he scores a lot of goals for us.

“He’s getting chances, and that’s the most important thing for a striker.

“Sometimes you score, sometimes you might miss, but you don’t worry too much as long as the chances continue to come along.

“The most important thing is that we are creating those chances – that means we’re doing something well as a team. We just have to keep working in the same way, and with the same mentality.”

Newcastle resume their Premier League campaign after the international break with a game away to Southampton on October 15.