Perch: I thought my Newcastle days were numbered

James Perch admits he thought his days were numbered at Newcastle United.

The young defender has been filling in for injured captain Fabricio Coloccini.

He told the Mirror: “I probably thought my time was coming up as a Newcastle player because I wasn’t anywhere near it. I wasn’t anywhere near the first team and I was struggling a little bit.

"I kind of knew I was going to be at the club, but I didn’t know I was going to get my chance to play and to start week-in, week-out.

“When the manager came in last year, I wasn’t in the team and he kept the back four pretty much as it was last year, so it feels like my first real chance under the gaffer.

“It’s a challenge for me and it’s up to me to prove I can do it.

"I haven’t really taken the chance in the past, so this is my second chance if you like and I have to do everything I can to stay in the team.

“It was tough last season, it was a big step but I felt I could do it.

"When Chris Hughton was there last season, I felt I did okay. I had a couple of dodgy games that unsettled me a little bit and Danny Simpson came in and did brilliantly, the team did brilliantly in the end and I couldn’t have any complaints really.

“I can’t say I had the best start to my career here at Newcastle last season, because I didn’t. If you’re not honest with yourself you’re not going to do yourself justice in the long run.

“When you’re not in the team, you still feel very much a part of it, because of the time that the coaching staff spend with you.

"When they do need you, it makes it easier for them to bring you in when they’ve been looking after you.”

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