This Newcastle forward makes statement of intent to Steve McClaren

Ayoze Perez says he is ready to lead the line for the Magpies in the midst of an injury crisis.

Newcastle United forward Ayoze Perez has insisted to the club's website that he is ready to impress in the centre-forward role for the club with several other of Steve McClaren's attacking options unavailable.

The Spaniard has played regularly for the Magpies this season but has found himself playing out wide or behind the main striker on numerous occasions with Aleksandar Mitrovic generally selected as the primary man in attack.

However, with the Serbian unavailable due to minor ligament damage, Papiss Cisse still not fully fit, and January signing Seydou Doumbia yet to make his mark at St. James' Park, Perez could be asked to play a starring role against Stoke City next Wednesday.

The 22-year-old told "I'm ready for it. If I have to play as a striker, I'll do it without problems.

"We've got some players back, and it's nice to see them again. We've got many options to choose from, so the manager will decide.

"In some games, we've had some problems in terms of finishing, but I think we're getting more confident and we will get more goals. It will come against Stoke, I'm sure."

Perez joined Newcastle in 2014 after impressing in the Spanish Segunda Division for Tenerife and missed just two Premier League games in his first season on Tyneside.

He won over the club's fans by netting a number of important goals during his debut campaign, including hitting a winner against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane and scoring the only goal of the game in victory over Liverpool.

He has scored five times in 23 league appearances this season and has repeated the trick of popping up with vital strikes, including another winner, this time in injury-time, at White Hart Lane and the lone goal in an away victory at Bournemouth.

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