Ayoze Perez happy to sacrifice personal goals tally for the Newcastle United cause

Newcastle United's Ayoze Perez..
Newcastle United's Ayoze Perez..

Ayoze Perez is willing to see his goals tally suffer for the greater good of the Newcastle United cause.

The Spaniard is yet to get off the mark since his return to the Premier League, but he has stood out with his excellent link-up with summer signing Joselu.

His tireless running, bursts on the counter-attack and hard-to-mark movement have made him Rafa Benitez’s turn to No 10 this campaign.

And Perez admits that he is happy to make sacrifices to his own game, to benefit the team.

“Sometimes, you have to enjoy that side,” he said of the more ugly side of the game.
“Being a striker is not just about scoring goals.

“Sometimes, you have to make sacrifices and suffer a bit for the good of the team.

“You have to try to make your opponents uncomfortable, because that might lead to more spaces for the counter-attack.

“Against the top teams in the division, you often have to play in that way.

“The teams at the top of the table are very strong, and they know what to do with the ball, so you have to be aware of that and make sure you do your job to stop them.”

Benitez is clearly a fan of Perez, having started him in all seven of the club’s top flight games to date.

The manager is a fan of Perez’s game intelligence - a big plus point when it comes to any player in a Benitez team.

Another thing in the 24-year-old’s favour is his attitude, application and willingness to implement the manager’s plans expertly.

“The manager tells us we have to start our defending with the strikers,” said Perez.

“He tells us that we are really important for the shape of the team.

“We have to be in good positions, and make their players feel uncomfortable.

“That is something we have spent a lot of time working on and trying to improve.

“It is the kind of work that is sometimes hard to see.

“It is not as obvious as when you are scoring or making runs into the box, but it is just as important.

“It is work that we have to do because it is important for the team. It worked really well (against Liverpool).”

United returned to training at the back end of last week, having been allowed a few days off to rest and recuperate.

Perez admits he used the time to head back to his home in Tenerife. He says it was the perfect tonic for the team, who are now ready to resume the scrap for top flight points and places.

“I think most of us needed this break,” he said.

“We went back to our homes - it was a chance to rest and recover. It was nice to get a bit of sun!

“I think we deserve it, because we’ve put an awful lot into the first few matches of the season.

“Now we are back, we are full of energy for the next games.”

Meanwhile, Newcastle could revisit a loan move for Danny Ings in the January window.

United’s attempts to land the England striker were rebuffed in the summer.