Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Why Would Any Player Want to Leave? Perch: Why I'm Loving Life on Tyneside

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Why Would Any Player Want to Leave? Perch: Why I'm Loving Life on Tyneside

Article excerpt

Byline: LEE RYDER

JAMES PERCH believes anybody wanting to leave Newcastle United this season would have had to be "mad" as the Magpies prepare to hit the Premier League's final straight still in with a shout of clinching European football.

Perch, Leon Best and Peter Lovenkrands were all subject to deadline-day inquiries from top-flight clubs, only for the trio to shun interest and nail their colours to the black-andwhite mast.

The never-say-die stance of all three epitomises the team spirit at United's Benton base this season as they lie in fifth place in the Premier League at the 23-game mark above Arsenal and Liverpool - something not many predicted back in August.

In the aftermath of stormy revelations from Joey Barton and Jose Enrique on Twitter, the word relegation was even uttered by scores of Newcastle followers.

Perch started the season playing in the reserves during the second string's tour of Holland, but he has fought back to play his part as a squad player.

The Mansfield lad has sometimes suffered some stinging criticism from fans in the past, but showed his quality at Blackburn by coming on to solidify Newcastle at a time when they were on the rack.

Whatever role Perch has been asked to play, he's done so, and at Ewood Park he did with some aplomb - something he's happy to keep doing.

With the window shut and Newcastle sticking with the squad they've got until May, Perch told the Chronicle: "I don't know why you would want to leave here.

"You would me mad to leave a team that looks like it's really going somewhere with the best fans in the country behind you.

"Why would you want to go somewhere on loan? "We saw it with Besty not wanting to go to Celtic - and I don't see why he would. He's playing at Newcastle in a good team.

"It's exciting times at the moment here."

With United now on 39 points and counting, Perch added: "The people who talked about relegation are people you probably won't see or hear now. …

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