Belfast Telegraph

Pardew: Don't pressurise Perez

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew has urged people not to label striking sensation Ayoze Perez after a stunning start to his career in England.

The 21-year-old Spaniard has scored three times in as many Barclays Premier League games, including winners against both Tottenham and Liverpool, to draw comparisons with Geordie heroes such as Alan Shearer and Andy Cole.

However, while he has been delighted with the youngster's contribution to date, he is determined not to pile the pressure on him as he prepares to unleash him on QPR this Saturday.

Pardew said: "At the moment, he's fearless. He's got the wind in his sails and is going along very nicely. He's been very sharp in training. He's a threat.

"If you take your eye off him, he's a predator. I'm sure QPR will be having conversations of how to look after him. He's difficult to pin down, his movement is very clever.

"But he is a young player. Some of the headlines have been way off the mark - the new Alan Shearer, the new Andy Cole.

"This is a boy who has played three games. Those players are legends and have done it all. Ayoze is just setting foot in the Premier League.

"But I have to say, he's done really well so far. I'm pleased with him."

Perez, a £1.5million summer signing from Tenerife, has got his chance because of an injury to Papiss Cisse with the Magpies having decided not to sign a big-name frontman during the close-season.

He was seen as a player for the future, but the impact he has made to date has been remarkable after settling in with a little help from skipper Fabricio Coloccini.

Pardew said: "He's a nice, bright boy. Because of the language, Colo has taken him under his wing. That's helped him settle quickly.

"He's a smashing player and is low-maintenance. We're enjoying him on the training ground."

If Pardew has found a solution at one end of the pitch, he is having to be inventive at the other end too with Coloccini definitely sidelined by a calf problem this weekend and Steven Taylor also struggling.

As a result, left-back Paul Dummett will line up the in the middle once again alongside the fit-again Mike Williamson, and his manager will have no qualms about him doing so.

He said: "He's been a player that the fans were slow to respond to. For us, we've always felt he had a massive chance because of his defensive abilities. They've really come to the fore in this run, either at left-back or centre-back.

"He's got a tough job on Saturday. He will play centre-back and will be up against two strikers really on their game. This will be a big test for him.

"But I'm not going to lose any sleep over it, I'm confident he can deal with it, and I couldn't pay him a higher tribute than that."

Pardew also moved to address claims from South America that midfielder Jonas Gutierrez had been told to find another club after being diagnosed with testicular cancer.

The 31-year-old is due back on Tyneside within the next few weeks after winning his battle, and the manager insists he will be welcomed with open arms.

He said: "It's difficult, when you've said to a player to get a new club and unfortunately the illness has come.

"You try to be supportive, but of course, the player wants to find a bit more assurance than that.

"But that decision was a 100 per cent football decision. I want to invite Jonas back and give him the best possible chance when he returns."

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