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Newcastle United cult hero gets grief from Sunderland fans but insists Scunthorpe were better team

2 years ago

Sunderland fans gave James Perch grief last Saturday but the Newcastle United cult hero got his satisfaction with the final result.

Scunthorpe getting a draw thanks to an 87th minute equaliser, meaning Sunderland have now only won one of their last five League One matches, having failed to beat Shrewsbury, Charlton and Luton, as well as Scunthorpe.

James Perch is 33 now and moved on to Scunthorpe from QPR last summer.

However, it is at Newcastle where his best days undoubtedly were.

Perch is one of that rare group of players who don’t get off to the best of starts and maybe aren’t the most gifted in terms of ability, yet turn the situation around through sheer determination and hard work.

When Chris Hughton did such a brilliant job in getting Newcastle instant promotion in 2009/10, his ‘reward’ was almost zero backing in the transfer market to try and cope with the step up (sounds familiar). Cheick Tiote was the ‘big’ signing for £3.5m but apart from that, Hughton had to rely on loans, frees and bargain buys to try and make sure Newcastle stayed up.

James Perch arrived for less that £1m from Forest but proved to be worth every penny.

Having made his debut for Newcastle at Manchester United on 16 August 2010 in a 3–0 defeat, by the time 18 September 2010 came around, he had set a new Premier League record. Becoming the first player ever to receive five yellow cards in his first five games in the Premier League.

He ended up making 65 appearances in total for Newcastle and his only goal came in a mad 4-3 defeat to Manchester United at Old Trafford.

James Perch was asked to play right across the defence as well as central midfield and always gave it 100%, with Newcastle fans quickly realising he was an asset, in the season NUFC finished fifth in 2011/12 he played in 25 of the 38 Premier League matches.

Newcastle got their money back when Perch moved on to Wigan in 2013, before these subsequent moves to QPR and now Scunthorpe.

Tomorrow he will come across former Newcastle teammate Joey Barton, as Scunthorpe take on Fleetwood.

James Perch speaking to the official Scunthorpe club site:

“When you look back at the whole 90 minutes [against Sunderland], I think we were the better side and we had the better chances.

“We cannot be too disappointed with a point, especially after going a goal behind.

“I got a bit of a stick when I went to collect the ball from the away end, so it is always nice to stop them getting all the glory.

“It will be a good game against Fleetwood [on Saturday] and we have had a good week’s preparation for it.

“It is always better when you are winning games, so the mood is great in the camp and the confidence is high.

“It will be a tough game and I know Joey [Barton] because I have played with him. I know what he is like and what his team will be like.

“We played them earlier in the season and got battered. They won’t be much different from then – hardworking like a typical League One side.”



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