JOHN Carver says he has resisted the temptation of resting Ayoze Perez, one of Newcastle United’s brightest attacking talents.
The Toon boss feels the forward, signed from Tenerife last summer, is fresh enough to play, having had a long weekend off because of the early FA Cup exit.
And the performance data from training suggests 21-year-old Perez – who impressed City earlier this season – is in good shape ahead of the club’s visit to the Etihad Stadium.
“I toyed with the idea of giving him a rest,” said Carver. “He’s been one of our mainline strikers, and done incredibly well.
“He came back lively on Monday and has had a good week. The last time he had a similar week, his physical stats, against West Ham, were at their highest.
“So I’ve looked at it closely and think he needs to play. I also know that City think an awful lot about him so he is then going to be a threat.”
Perez’s adjustment to life in England has been helped by captain Fabricio Coloccini, a fellow Spanish-speaker.
“The good thing is we have a captain who speaks his language,” added Carver.
“Coloccini has been excellent with the boy.
“He’s looked after him, gone around to his house to have a bit to eat together.
“He is a mature lad for his age. He’s settled in quicker than I thought, but it is important I put an arm around him.
“It’s important to know the ones you cuddle and those you kick up the backside.
“Ayoze is definitely one you have to show a bit of compassion to because of his age.
“But he has matured in five months, so I think he can handle it.”