Ayoze Perez says Newcastle United’s manager, players and fans are finally together as one.
The second-bottom club is battling to stay in the Premier League after a troubled eight months on and off the field.
We are one, the fans and us. It’s a good feeling. We have to keep going in this way. We are closer now and we need to keep fighting.Ayoze Perez
But the team claimed its first win under Rafa Benitez last weekend, and Newcastle were unlucky not to take all three points from Tuesday night’s home game against Manchester City.
Benitez’s players left the field to a standing ovation after their 1-1 draw against City.
And forward Perez says there is a “good feeling” in the dressing room ahead of Saturday’s game against Liverpool at Anfield.
“We are playing as a team,” said the 22-year-old. “We are one, the fans and us.
“It’s a good feeling. We have to keep going in this way. We are closer now and we need to keep fighting.”
Perez is enjoying working under Spanish countryman Benitez, who started the season at Real Madrid and succeeded Steve McClaren at St James’s Park last month.
Asked about Benitez’s influence on him, the Spain Under-21 interational said: “Really important. In just a few weeks, I’m learning a lot.
“It’s important. We speak the same language. He always wants me to learn new things and be a better player.”
Perez has been in and out of the starting XI under Benitez.
But he won praise from the 56-year-old after the game, and could keep his place at Anfield, where a win for Newcastle would lift them out of the bottom three.
Perez said: “Personally, I felt really good. We fought together and it’s a good feeling seeing the fans behind us.
“It’s really nice. We have worked really well.”