Aleksandar Mitrovic gave a good and disciplined display in his very first start at Old Trafford last Saturday, and his fantastic header after 23 minutes almost put Newcastle ahead after we had been on the defensive for the first 20 minutes or so.
That’s what you want from a top striker – where he can score a goal out of nothing and change the game – maybe he’ll get his first goal for the club against Arsenal on Saturday?
Mitrovic in training this week
In his previous two appearances for Newcastle he was booked within the first 92 seconds each time – so we made a note on Saturday after 92 seconds that Aleksandar hadn’t (yet) been booked.
But in fact he didn’t pick up a booking at all, and it seems that the Newcastle coaches have explained to him how he can be very physical in the games – but for the sake of the team he also has to stay calm and not make wild challenges.
The last thing we want is for him to be sent off and we are down to 10 men – and we saw at Swansea where that basically ends the game – at least against a good side like Swansea.
The 20 year-old has talked today on what he has learned:
“I spoke to the coaches and they told me you need to work but you need to think about every situation,” “They are right. I need to work hard for the team but I also need to stay calm. I learned a real lot from my first two games.”
“It was my first game for Newcastle from the beginning at Old Trafford and I felt good. It was a long time since I’d played a game from the beginning, but I really felt good. It was a good 80 minutes for me. By the end, I felt a little tired, but that’s OK.”
“When I spoke to the team before the game I was really excited, because it was my first game from the beginning and it was against Manchester United.” “It was a good feeling.” “I gave everything on Saturday and I expect I will soon start to score goals.”
“I didn’t have a lot of service but the balls I got were very good and I almost scored a goal. In the next games I hope I will have more service of the same quality.” “It was a difficult game for me because we played defensively so I did not get the ball so much.”
“But you can’t only play defensively, you need to play as a team and we did that well. “We had our chances and we deserved the good result we got.” “A big point against a big club is always important, especially when you play good and like a team.”
“We were really good as a team and I think this point will help us a lot in the future.”“The next game is against Arsenal and this is also a big game, so it is good for confidence that we have got this point for the team and the players.”
Those are good words from the 20 year-old, who because he is still very young – can become a phenomenal striker for Newcastle – and he showed on Saturday he can be dangerous.
He seems to be learning quickly, and it’s good he is listening to the coaches – who know what they are talking about.
Certainly the impact was noticeable on Saturday, and Aleksandar played a good disciplined game for Newcastle and really helped the side in what – as he says – was a difficult game for us.
It was a difficult first game for Aleksandar too – but he did very well.