Perez hopes cup goals kick-start his Championship campaign

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Newcastle United striker Ayoze Perez hopes his two EFL Cup goals can kick-start his Championship campaign.

A bandaged Perez netted twice in Tuesday night’s 2-0 win over Cheltenham Town at St James’s Park.

The forward is now focused on Saturday evening’s home game against Chris Hughton’s Brighto (5.30pm kick-off).

Perez has been in and out of Rafa Benitez’s starting XI so far this season.

And the 23-year-old feels his cup performance has given him the confidence he needs to get up and running in the league.

“Scoring for me is always a good feeling,” said Perez, who had to wear a bandage after suffering a cut ear.

“It gives me a lot of confidence, and it’s good for me and the team that I can help us into the next round.”

Second-placed Brighton are unbeaten in the Championship so far this season, but a win would take United above them in the division.

“Brighton will be up there as well this season challenging, so it’s going to be another hard game,” said Perez.

“But we’re at home, we have to keep doing the same work in the same way, just focus on that game because it will be really hard and we have to be ready for it.”

Perez opened the scoring late in the first half with a curling effort after being controversially allowed back on to the pitch as his team attacked Cheltenham’s goal.

Asked what happened for the goal, the Spain Under-21 international said: “I don’t know. The referee just told me to get back on the field, so that’s what I did and that’s it.

“Then the ball came to me, I put it into the corner and it was a nice goal, one I will remember.”

Perez added another from close range after the break.

“It was a great performance from the team,” he said.

“We knew it would be a tough game – and it was, especially in the first half. We just needed to make sure we won.

“I’m happy and I’m also pleased to score twice. It was an important win to be in the next round.”

Perez needed treatment after a defender caught him on the ear with his knee.

He said: “The defender caught me and kicked me with his knee.

“I got a small cut in the ear, but it was OK. I could keep playing, even though it was painful. I’m not too bad.”

Strike partner Dwight Gayle also had to wear a bandage later in the game.

“I have to say that I was laughing with Grant Hanley because I had the bandage and I saw that the medics were doing the same to Dwight Gayle,” said Perez.

“I was joking ‘Is everyone going to wear a bandage today?’”