AYOZE PEREZ and Salomon Rondon’s blossoming relationship on and off the pitch is helping Newcastle United drive towards Premier League safety.

The pair were in tandem to help the Magpies complete a thrilling comeback victory over Everton on Saturday, with Rondon purring about his Spanish team-mate’s contribution.

Perez’s beautiful dink over the Toffees defence after the hour at St James’ Park was perfect for Newcastle’s No 9 to start the fightback with the first, before he added the next two to secure the 3-2 win.

And Rondon does not think it should be under estimated how much work he has put in with Perez to make sure Newcastle get the full benefit of the pair playing together in the final third.

“If Messi, the best player in the world, had done that (pass for the first) everybody would be talking about it,” said Rondon. “What he did was fantastic for the team, he linked up with me so well.

“That’s the important thing for us. We have to play like a team and believe in each other and when we do, we’re capable of things like we did against Everton.”

Partnerships don’t always work out but Rondon is convinced his link up with Perez will only keep getting better because of how well they get on off the park.

“Our relationship is good and I’m sure it makes it easier because we can talk in Spanish together,” said Rondon. “That’s the same with a few of the other guys too, but it feels like me and Ayoze understand each other on the pitch.

“We know how each other plays, where he will be running, when to pass and the gaffer helps us too. We play like a team. He is not selfish.

“The goal is the kind of thing we work on together on the training ground. He brought the defenders towards him.”

Rondon took his tally to the season for 11 since moving from West Bromwich Albion and his performances have meant Rafa Benitez is keen to keep him longer term.

There will be a lot more negotiating to be done for that to happen, with the Baggies – who sacked manager Darren Moore over the weekend – still keen to recoup £16.5m for him – although that could alter depending on what division they play in.

For now Rondon, who has recently revealed he would like to stay on Tyneside, is not thinking too much about the future and wants to focus on keeping Newcastle in the Premier League.

The third win in five matches, which have seen just one defeat, have given Benitez’s men a real chance of survival, and the latest triumph ensured they maintained a six point gap to the relegation zone; they are four points off tenth.

“It was really a massive win,” said Rondon. “If we had lost against Everton, with both Southampton and Cardiff winning, it would have made things nervous again. It’s so close. We know this league is difficult and any result can go any way, so we have to do our job. Thankfully we did.”

And to have played such a big part in helping Newcastle to come back from two goals down against a decent Everton team, Rondon feels it highlights the character within the squad and in the stands.

He said: “It was an amazing game, for Newcastle, the supporters and for my team-mates. We’re very happy. The noise when we scored the first was incredible. The fans pushed us to do what we did.

“We had to win the game the hard way. Being 2-0 down at half-time was not ideal. We conceded the first, then we missed the penalty and then Everton went further ahead and at that moment things didn’t look good for us.

“Our psychology at that time was very down, but we recovered really well. We went into the dressing room and told each other that we had to wake up, but we did that.”

Newcastle might not have such a big fight on their hands had Jordan Pickford been sent off in the first half when he pulled down Rondon to concede a penalty. Rondon said: “We should have been playing against ten, but these things can happen. The most important thing is not to blame the referee or think it should have been a red, but to realise the position you’re in. We did that.”