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Pardew worries whether Ayoze Perez can handle the derby

6 years ago
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The Newcastle manager has been talking about the unique nature of the Newcastle v Sunderland derby and surprisingly, has named Ayoze Perez as a player who may struggle to handle the pressure.

Alan Pardew says that some players don’t grasp the intensity of the occasion and are overawed, pointing out that Perez has ‘not really seen a game of this magnitude yet’.

Alan Pardew

“This is an occasion, like any big derby, where some players don’t grasp it – the intensity. Where some players freeze or are overawed by the size of the fixture.

“I’ll be watching out for that, particularly one or two of our players; Perez – a Spanish guy, not really seen a game of this magnitude yet. Though he played against Chelsea and did well.

“It’s a great occasion and the best players respond and I think most of our players are looking forward to it in the best possible way.”

I think if this was the start of the season then many of us would think the same, a young player arriving from the second division – surely this was a step too far?

However, the evidence of what we’ve seen with our own eyes in the meantime, tells us that Ayoze Perez is the last person we need to worry about. His goals against Spurs, Liverpool, West Brom and Arsenal, show he is the player for the big occasion and the nature of the goals confirmed his quality.

Sadly the bigger signings such as Riviere and Cabella are the ones we would be worrying about dealing with a derby, along with other more established players in Anita, Gouffran and Williamson.

Papiss Cisse is another who has never really done it in a derby and hopefully that will change today – something needs to because the only current player to have scored for Newcastle in the derby is Ryan Taylor and he’s injured.

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