Perch happy to do Newcastle Utd’s dirty work

Newcastle United's James Perch
Newcastle United's James Perch

JAMES Perch is keen to carry on doing Newcastle United’s dirty work – so the team can clean up going forward.

The utility player has been linked with a move away from St James’s Park this summer.

Perch – who made 38 appearances last season – has just one year left on his contract.

Leicester City are reportedly keen to sign the 27-year-old, who joined Newcastle from Nottingham Forest three years ago.

Perch will be keen to know where he stands when he returns to Tyneside for pre-season training early next month.

The Mansfield-born player was heartened by the amount of games he had played last term, but he was frustrated by the club’s plight near the foot of the Premier League.

“It’s been good for me football-wise, but it’s hard to take when you’re playing and the team is losing,” Perch said.

“I’d rather just win the game.

“I played a lot of games because of injuries, and filled in different positions, which I don’t mind doing as everyone knows.”

Perch – who can play across the back four – was used as a defensive midfielder for much of the campaign by United manager Alan Pardew, who has promised Vurnon Anita more games next term after a season of adjustment after his move from Ajax.

And Perch felt the role alongside playmaker Yohan Cabaye – who has hinted his future could lie elsewhere while on international duty with France – suited him given him ability to win the ball and “mop up” in front of the back four.

Perch added: “I enjoy playing the No4 role in the team – mopping up, doing the dirty work and giving it to Cabs! I let him do all the long passes.

“I’m happy getting the ball back for him.

“He’s quality. Sometimes you get caught just watching him like a fan.

“Watching him hit the ball is unbelievable.

“We’ve got internationals all over the squad. It’s great to play alongside them.”

It remains to be seen if Perch, an important voice in the dressing room, fits into Pardew’s longer-term plans.

If he doesn’t, then he could well move on this summer given his contractual situation.

Defender Mike Williamson is another player who faces an uncertain future, with Cardiff City manager Malky Mackay understood to be keen on signing him.

Mackay previously worked with Williamson at Watford. The 29-year-old could command a fee of £2m.