- Premier League
Perch confident of Newcastle survival
James Perch says there are no confidence issues at Newcastle, despite a failure to build on the success of last season.
The Magpies finished fifth in the Premier League in 2011-12 but have found a repeat performance difficult to achieve due to the addition of Europa League commitments and have spent the majority of the season in the bottom-half of the table.
Newcastle are still far from guaranteed Premier League safety, the club currently sit six points above the relegation zone with games against Liverpool and Arsenal in the coming weeks, but having secured a 1-1 draw at West Bromwich Albion, Perch says the result takes them into Saturday's game full of confidence.
"In the changing room afterwards at West Brom we said we would look back in four games time and say this was a good and important point," Perch told the Evening Chronicle.
"It takes us into Liverpool with a lot of confidence. We have a week to prepare ourselves too for Liverpool. It is hard for the staff to prepare for a Sunday game after you have played on Thursday. The lads who have played have a rest on Friday and we come out on Saturday and walk through a bit of shape.
"They do not get much time to work with the lads. It is hard. We noticed the difference. The lads have had a rest. They feel fresher and I think you could see that in the performance. I think Liverpool is always a good game to play in. We played well last year and won 2-0, which was a fantastic game. I think that is the loudest I have heard St James' with Jose coming back. I am looking forward to it - it should be a good game - and hopefully we can get the three points."
Despite praising the credibility of the draw they secured at the weekend, Perch also admitted to a tinge of disappointment. Failing to add to an early Yoan Gouffran header, a flurry of first half chances failed to produce a second for the Magpies who were eventually pegged back in the second half.
"We were a bit disappointed, but it would be tough to go somewhere like this and be on top for 90 minutes," Perch added.
"We knew they would come at us, and fair play to them they did. They put us under a lot of pressure. Papiss's effort would have changed the game. Had it been 2-0 at half-time, I think we would have gone on to win it. We were better in the first half and they had the better of the second half, so the draw was probably a fair result."