McClaren Explains Why Young Gun Is Recharging His Batteries

During the last International break Serbia were beaten 4-1 by the Czech Republic and they didn’t play well.

That was the time Chelsea midfielder Nemanja Matic even talked about whether he would continue his International career and our own Aleksandar Mitrovic was at the center of a controversy that Matic had brought up after the game – that too many Serbian players didn’t seem to care enough.

aleksandar mitrovic scores against norwich

Aleksandar Mitrovic scoring against Norwich

In the next Premier League game Newcastle were beaten 3-0 at Leicester and after a decent enough performance in the first half too many players gave up in the second half.

For the next game at Crystal Palace Mitrovic was dropped and we were taken apart 5-1 although Mitrovic’ replacement Cisse did score first after 10 minutes.

After that defeat Ayoze Perez seemed very unlucky to be the only one dropped for the game last Sunday against Liverpool at home that we amazingly won – and he was replaced by Siem de Jong.

So McClaren has replaced a 21 year-old and 22 year-old with a 30 year-old and 26 year-old up front and both have massive experience and seemed to have calmed things down a bit in the Newcastle side.

Certainly last Sunday was a massively improved performance all around and it seems to have made a difference although Siem was still off the pace.

McClaren has explained today why Mitrovic was left out of the side for the Palace game:

“It was generally viewed that during the international break he kind of had a bad time with Serbia.”

“It looked as if he needed to come out of it a little bit, which he will do and recharge those batteries. He’s doing that.”

“One of the reasons why we probably got the result was that the team was a little bit more experienced with the likes of Siem de Jong and Papiss up front.” 

“I think our average age must have shot right up.” “And Cisse and de Jong, leading from the front, actually made a big difference to us in terms of that mentality and experience of these big occasions.”

Those two changes would have increased the average age of that starting eleven by just over  a year – 13/11 to be exact.

McClaren could well field an unchanged side tomorrow at White Hart Lane where we really need to pick up something in the game.

Certainly we cannot have another relapse where we are heavily defeated again.

That wouldn’t be good.

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2 comments so far

  • sing in the corner

    Dec 12, 2015 at 8:15 AM

    Comment #1

    From last thread.
    Now I know it’s my unreasonable optimism and hope leaking out but I think we have a genuine chance of another eyebrow-raising result tomorrow. Dembele and Dier are rated as very doubtful and they are big players for them. The key will be the old adage of keeping it tight for the first 20. Stay in it.
    I’m going for 1-1. If we concede early the bubble might pop though. For sure they will come at us hard from the start, and these are the situations where we see Colo,in particular, flounder. HWTL

  • sing in the corner

    Dec 12, 2015 at 8:19 AM

    Comment #2

    I thought SM was wrong when he first did it, but fair play to him. Something or someone got a tune out of Cisse that I didn’t think was still there, and De Jong slotted right in canny. Hopefully Perez will get a little break and rediscover his mojo


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