Newcastle United simply MUST start picking up points – before the club is sucked into a relegation battle.
That’s the view of Ayoze Perez ahead of a crucial home double header for Rafa Benitez’s side.
It’s not such a bad situation that we have to say we’re panicking, but we have to realise that we have to start winning now otherwise it’s going to get very tough for us.Ayoze Perez
Newcastle take on Leicester City at St James’s Park on Saturday. The game is followed by a December 13 home game against Everton.
United, beaten 3-1 by Chelsea on Saturday, have taken just one point from their last six games. And enough is enough for Perez.
“We have to get a win now,” said Perez. “We started the season pretty well, and that’s helped us with our league position, but we have gone too long without winning a game, and we have to put that right.
“We are at home for our next match, and we have to make the most of that and get three points.
“We can’t keep saying we’re still OK in the table. This is the moment to start turning things around and get back to having the winning feeling again.
“We need to get back to picking up points. It doesn’t really matter how we are playing – that’s the most important thing. It has to start from now.
“We have two home games coming up, and we have to make the most of them. We need the points, and we have to win.”
Newcastle went ahead against Chelsea through a 12th-minute Dwight Gayle goal.
But their lead lasted just nine minutes, with Eden Hazard equalising. Alvaro Morata then sent Antonio Conte’s side into the lead.
Hazard netted a penalty in the second half to put the game beyond United.
Newcastle manager Benitez was unhappy with the defensive mistakes made by his team.
And forward Perez said: “We started quite well, but a game is 90 minutes and we weren’t able to keep it going all the way through.
“You have to be as good as possible for as long as you can if you want to get anything against these sort of teams.
“I don’t think we were as bad as it maybe looked at the end. The final scoreline makes it look like it was quite easy for Chelsea, and I don’t think it was like that, but it doesn’t really matter because we weren’t able to get anything out of the game
“They scored from two crosses and a penalty, so we could have defended much better. But we didn’t do that. We didn’t make it hard enough for them, and that’s why we got beat.”
Newcastle had taken the lead against Manchester United last month, also from a Gayle strike.
Perez said: “It’s hard to play against Chelsea, just like it was hard to play against Manchester United the other week.
“They are two of the best teams in the world – that’s why they are where they are in the table. That’s why they are in with a good chance of winning the league.
“It’s always tough to play against these kind of teams. You have to do a lot of things well, and not make mistakes.
“Then if you also have a bit of luck, maybe you can get a good result. But it’s a very hard thing to do.”
United were as high as sixth in the Premier League in October.
“We knew there might be periods like this, but it’s gone on too long now,” said Perez.
“When we were winning, we knew a bad moment could come because it’s a tough league.
“It’s not such a bad situation that we have to say we’re panicking, but we have to realise that we have to start winning now otherwise it’s going to get very tough for us.”