Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Manager Offers Lofty Praise of New Hero Perch

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Manager Offers Lofty Praise of New Hero Perch

Article excerpt

ALAN Pardew has hailed the unflappable James Perch - as he prepares to hand him the task of shackling Manchester City's blue chip forward line, writes MARK DOUGLAS.

Perch was handed right-back duties in the absence of injured Danny Simpson at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday and proved up to the job of snuffing out the in-form Fernando Torres.

It was the latest examination of his credentials Perch has passed, the latest assignment quietly completed by this most unlikely of Newcastle heroes.

Just 18 months ago, his United career appeared to be finished after a debut season which brought criticism and a string of performances which dipped below the standards required of a Premier League player.

Now he is Newcastle's Mr Dependable who has filled in all across the defence and in a deep-lying midfield role too.

It is clear Pardew is a fan, and he believes his unfazed approach has helped to catapult him into the Newcastle supporter's affections.

He said: "I told him what he was doing but you would think in the dressing room he is just ready to go out for a pizza with his wife. …

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