It was a difficult call for Newcastle, but the right call and the club have received great credit for the way they handled Aleksandar Mitrovic’ head injury late in the game yesterday, after the 21 year-old Serbian striker had brilliantly headed Newcastle level after 83 minutes, when all seemed lost.
Credit must go first of all to our Doctor – Dr. Paul Catterson – a graduate of Newcastle University in medicine in 1999, and he made the right decision on the touch-line saying that Mitro simply couldn’t continue.
Aleksandar was keyed up and convinced he could get the winning goal for the team, and argued to go back on the pitch and struggled to get free from those around him.
Dr. Paul Catterson, Mitrovic and Benitez on the touchline
Then manager Rafa Benitez was the next to look good when he got hold of Aleksandar and told him he wasn’t going back on – even through it would mean for those last few minutes we only had 10 men and our Man of the Match was on the touchline.
That showed Newcastle in great light as a club doing the right thing for their player and the fans duly reacted on Twitter.
They were pleased that Mitro was determined to get back on because he showed the spirit and bottle that’s necessary from our players if we are going to survive.
And it was great that Newcastle put things in perspective and couldn’t risk the 21 year-old’s health – and remember Mitro has only recently become a father for the first time.
Dr Catterson first and then manager Rafa Benitez second take credit for that and on a day that we looked only mediocre on the field.
A little on Dr. Catterson – courtesy of the Chronicle – he is married with three boys and after graduating from Newcastle University he got a Diploma in Sports and Exercise Medicine from Bath University in 2007 and began working full time in elite sport in 2009.
Dr. Catterson earlier this year – in a plea for organ donors
He has previously worked for the FA as team doctor for England Futsal, England U17, England U16 and at the World University Games with the Great Britain University Football Team in 2005.
He did us proud yesterday.
Here’s his Twitter account.
And ending on another positive note for the team – it’s’ been tough in Rafa’s first two games in charge and probably harder than he thought it would be, although he will never say that.
But it’s still very possible we can survive this season – once he’s had more time with the players – and he has almost a couple of weeks to prepare the lads for the next game at Norwich City on Saturday, April 2nd.
If anybody can save us it’s Rafa.
Keep the faith – we can still survive.