Ayoze Perez thinks he can be the perfect foil for which Newcastle United forward?

Aleksandar Mitrovic and Ayoze Perez
Aleksandar Mitrovic and Ayoze Perez

Ayoze Perez feels his partnership with Aleksandar Mitrovic is like a marriage made in heaven.

The duo linked up during last weekend’s 2-1 home win over Cardiff City.

And while neither got themselves on the scoresheet, Perez is sure he can be the perfect foil for the big Serbian.

“We both feel really, really good with each other,” said Perez.

“We make a good couple and we always try to find each other.

“Against Cardiff, we linked up well for the first goal.

“We are learning from each other and making each other better.

“We are winning games together too, which is good.

“Everyone is happy because we are still top of the table.

“We are performing really well on the pitch and we have to keep going.”

While it might not have been the picture perfect season for classy Perez individually, he feels he is growing as a player under the care of manager Rafa Benitez.

At times, the former Tenerife forward has been in and out of the United side, but in recent weeks has started to hit the goal trail.

When asked whether he feels he is progressing well as a player, he said: “Yes. Individually and also as a team.

“The team is growing, is doing better every game.

“Individually as well, I feel like I am growing as a player and that’s why I am happy.”

How much of that has been down to the influence of Benitez? A lot, says the 23-year-old.

“He always makes sure that everything is right and everyone is trying to learn from him,” said Perez.

“Everyone is improving as players individually and also as a team.

“It’s important for me to have that connection with him and to understand everything clearly he tells me.

“It’s important because I know what he wants from me and we are trying to do it properly.”

Having spent two years fighting Premier League relegation at St James’s Park since his switch from Tenerife, this season, albeit at a lower level, has brought a welcome change for the youngster.

“It feels different,” he said.

“The truth is we are playing much better, we are playing good football and it’s very different to last season.

“We feel comfortable now, we are confident and you can feel it outside on the pitch.”

While Perez is delighted with Newcastle’s position at the summit of the Championship table, he says the players are not yet content with their performance.

Even off the back of eight wins on the bounce in all competitions the forward sees room for improvement.

Perez said: “We are up at the top, but still we are not there yet.

“We’ve just been trying to improve the little things which can always be better.

“That’s exactly what we are trying to do and have been doing over the last six weeks.

“We are working hard, pushing and everyone is looking to go in the same direction.

“Now it’s time for the international break, we cannot change it.

“We have to work, have a little rest and then come back focused and keep pushing to continue in the same way.

“We don’t have any games this fortnight, so we have to keep working on our fitness and these things, so it will be hard, but, as normal, we are going to train hard and keep going.”