Rafa Benitez identifies reasons why Newcastle’s Ayoze Perez will thrive in the Championship

Ayoze Perez

Ayoze Perez

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Ayoze Perez is answering the questions that have been asked of him in the Championship.

That’s the verdict of Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez.

He is stronger than he seems, but I can agree that physically to cope with the intensity of the Championship there was a question mark. But he showed the other day that he can do it because he is clever.

Ayoze Perez

Perez was outstanding in Tuesday night’s 6-0 win over Queens Park Rangers.

The forward scored one goal and created chances for others during a tireless performance at Loftus Road.

And Benitez has no doubt that slightly-built Perez is physically strong enough to cope with the rigours of the Championship.

“He is stronger than he seems, but I can agree that physically to cope with the intensity of the Championship there was a question mark,” said Benitez. “But he showed the other day that he can do it, because he is clever.

“So when someone has quality and has clever movement, he doesn’t need to go and challenge and tackle every time.

“Sometimes the cleverest players don’t tackle, they just go to the right places at the right time.”

Perez has been in and out of the team so far this season.

And Benitez added: “Ayoze is doing well, but he has been working very hard – even when he has not been playing, he has been working very hard – but it is the same with other players who are not playing at the moment.

“I have to continue telling them ‘keep working hard, you will play well’ or ‘you will have your chances’.

“If they do that, they can perform. The problem with some players is if they don’t think they will have a chance, when they have to play they are not ready.”