Ayoze Perez says that he and his Newcastle team-mates want to ‘play as soon as possible’ after an 18 day period between games.

As for playing in the sole striking role in the likely absence of Aleksandar Mitrovic, Perez says that if asked to do it he ‘will do it without problems’.

Despite losing the last half dozen away matches and only scoring twice in the process, Ayoze Perez insists that the team are ‘getting more confident and we will get more goals’.

The Spaniard even going as far to say ‘It will come against Stoke, I’m sure’.

As well as the actual team selection, supporters will be interested to see if next Wednesday Steve McClaren dispenses with his usual terrible negative away tactics of leaving a sole striker isolated at the top of the pitch.

An overall record of 17 defeats in the last 20 matches, including before McClaren’s arrival, suggests there will be no overnight solution to Newcastle’s away woes.

A goal(s) and at least a point would be a start at the Britannia Stadium on Wednesday.

Ayoze Perez talking to the official club website:

“I’m ready for it, if I have to play as a striker I will do it without problems.

“We have got some players back and it is nice to see them again – we have got many options to choose from, so the manager will decide.

“We drew at home and he (Jack Butland) made some really good saves for them but we need to try to win this time.

“They’re a really good side. They have quality with Bojan, Arnautovic and others – a good squad, they are doing well and we have to be aware of that, but at the same time, always think about our job.

“In some games, we have had some problems in terms of finishing but I think we are getting more confident and we will get more goals. It will come against Stoke, I’m sure.

“We have to concentrate and stay focused on ourselves, do our job and, most importantly, bring home some points because we need them.

“We want to play as soon as possible. We want to win. We have got 12 more games, so we have got a hard calendar, but we will be together and try to get a win.

“It (trip to La Manga) was a good thing for us. We were together over there and I think it was a good idea. Now we are even more together to go ahead for these 12 games.”