Ayoze Perez helped steer Newcastle to victory over Watford on Saturday after his headed goal ended a winless run of 10 games.

It was the Spaniard’s first goal of the season after suffering something of a scoring drought.

(Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images)

Perez is often a divisive figure on Tyneside and when things aren’t going well for the striker he is often roundly criticised by fans.

People are quick to forget that the striker was actually the Toon’s top scorer last season, with 10 goals in all competitions.

However poor displays this campaign have begun to test the patience of supporters and he found himself benched against Watford.

But an injury to Yoshinori Muto just before half-time saw Perez back onto the pitch quicker than many would have liked.

In fact, there were audible boos heard around St James’ Park as he was substituted on. An astonishing reaction from fans to a member of their own team.

And so ironically it was probably those same fans cheering when the striker nodded home from an excellent Ki Sung-Yueng free kick.

Perez celebrated by putting his fingers in his ears, an obvious message to his detractors.

But will that goal be enough to improve his relations with the supporters?

(Photo LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP/Getty Images)

Fans come out in defence of Perez

There is still work to do for Perez

(Photo LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP/Getty Images)

Despite scoring the winner, Perez had a very quiet game against Watford.

Other than his goal, he rarely touched the ball, perhaps a reflection of his current lack of confidence.

His tendency to run himself into trouble or be easily muscled off the ball will still be a source of annoyance to a lot of fans.

He’s unlikely to improve in that aspect and so his only hope of keeping critics off his back is to just keep scoring.

But that’s easier said than done and Perez still has a long, hard season ahead of him.