Reflecting on the enforced and unwanted gap between matches, Ayoze Perez thinks the double training sessions the squad had in Spain, will benefit the team when they kick off once again in the Premier League on Saturday.
The former Tenerife player saying ‘The legs need to keep working’ and the 135 minutes the team had in the friendly against Royal Antwerp topped off the trip.
For once, pretty much everything went Newcastle’s way when having one of these enforced absences.
A resounding 3-0 victory over relegation rivals Southampton was a perfect way to sign off, then the results from the games that did go ahead last weekend could hardly have gone much better.
Huddersfield’s match against Crystal Palace was one where somebody had to pick up points.
A win for Huddersfield would have put them in a very strong position on 34 points, two ahead of Newcastle and seven above the relegation zone. Instead, a two goal home loss to Palace means they come to St James Park very much in trouble still.
Victory for Newcastle would send them on to 35 points and four ahead of Huddersfield who would only then have six games remaining, plus up to seven points above the drop zone, a scenario that Ayoze Perez believes would put NUFC ‘really, really close’ to safety.
With only three wins from the first 13 at St James Park, Newcastle had the worst home record in the Premier League, with only 13 points from the first available 39.
However, beating Huddersfield would mean three in a row after the wins over Man Utd and Southampton without conceding a goal – ironic if belated home form finally carries Newcastle to safety.
Ayoze Perez talking to the official club site:
“We had three days of spending time together[(in Spain] and training really hard with double sessions, so in terms of hard work, we did it.
“It was the right idea to get a friendly game, with 21 days without football. The legs need to keep working and we did it well.
“Now, we’re back in Newcastle and we have still been working really hard, so it’s been a great idea to keep ourselves fit.
“For the last few days it’s been back to normal.
“We’ve still been training a lot; great training sessions, hard work, trying to improve little things.
“We haven’t had the international boys but we have still been working and trying to make sure we are doing a lot of positive things.
“It’s been like that over the last couple of months; every point is like gold, so it’s going to be a massive game.
“If we can win this game, we’d be really, really close, we’d have it in our hands, so that’s the importance of the game.
“We will make sure we compete and we are ready for that fight, because its going to be tough.”