Rafa Talks About The Plight Of Aleksandar Mitrovic

During Rafa’s press conference today the situation of Aleksandar Mitrovic was brought up and the fact the £13M signing from Anderlecht is not getting too much playing time at the moment even though in the last International break he scored a brace for Serbia against Austria on 9th October.


Rafa Benitez – Newcastle manager

This is what Rafa said about Aleksander when his name was brought up during the press conference:

“Yesterday we were training hard, and after we had an extra finishing session with Mitrovic, Ayoze Perez and some other players.”

“Today Mitro was training well again, so he’s a good professional. He wants to be fit, he wants to train harder, he wants to play, but he knows that Dwight Gayle is scoring goals.”

“He has to just keep working, and wait for his chance.”

“Every day he is more mature because he I think realizes how difficult it is to be in a team when it’s playing well, he needs to keep working and improving little things.”

“But at the same time he wants to play and as I have said they need to push me in the right way and he’s a good player with commitment and passion.”

It seems that Mitro is OK with the current situation – yes he wants to play – but we have seen the way he celebrates the goals that his heart is with the team and we all know the 22 year-old striker loves playing at Newcastle United.

siem de jong - aleksandar mitrovic training

Aleksandar Mitrovic in training

Mitro will get games this season, but at the moment it’s just a difficult time for him with Dwight in white-hot form, but we are nevertheless impressed with the Serbian’s attitude.

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What do you think?

Comments welcome.

41 comments so far

  • mindshaft

    Oct 21, 2016 at 7:05 PM

    Comment #1

    The only way Mitro will play is if Rafa changes his formation – impossible to drop Gayle at the moment ..
    Haha – Pardew creating a legacy , was only 3 games ago Palace blogs were full of people saying it was time to sack him – he had a lucky streak of 3 wins and now saying he would turn down England job … guy is deluded in the extreme

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Oct 21, 2016 at 7:05 PM

    Comment #2

    From those comments I get the impression he doesn’t want to make changes to winning team, I reckon he’s given a big hint for the Rafa bingo.

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Oct 21, 2016 at 7:09 PM

    Comment #3

    Mindshaft who are you talking about? Who is this Perdition person?

  • clinath@ed

    Oct 21, 2016 at 7:16 PM

    Comment #4

    In other words….he’s not good enough yet. Keep working on on your finishing, that goes for Perez too

  • Average_Contents

    Oct 21, 2016 at 7:17 PM

    Comment #5


    I wouldn’t embarrass my kids mate lol

  • Munster Mag

    Oct 21, 2016 at 7:32 PM

    Comment #6

    As I have said from the summer, Mitro is not the type of striker that Rafa wants, so he wont get much game time. In fact the ideal striker in a 4231 would be about a foot taller than Gayle, with the same pace. I reckon Murphy is closer than Mitro to the team potentially because he is apparently more mobile. I like Mitro but I have money on for Gayle to be top scorer in the division so that comes over sentiment!

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Oct 21, 2016 at 7:32 PM

    Comment #7

    Burton v Birmingham on tonight, like to see a Burton win.

  • Charlietoon

    Oct 21, 2016 at 7:39 PM

    Comment #8

    I’d say Rafa does not trust him to not get a yellow card in the first twenty minutes and therefore find himself a bit hamstrung. Let’s hope he gets a chance in the cup games and takes it. We were obviously mad relying on him to be our main man last season.

  • JamesToon

    Oct 21, 2016 at 7:45 PM

    Comment #9

    I don’t think mitro suits Rafa that well, I mean it’s good he can hold the ball up but he’s not mobile enough.

    See why Rafa brought Murphy in, another target man option but he’s considerably quicker than mitro, and he played on the wing a lot for Ipswich

  • skiptoon

    Oct 21, 2016 at 7:45 PM

    Comment #10

    Good problem to have. Rafa has produced a squad with competition for places and now his man management skills are showing too.


    Oct 21, 2016 at 7:56 PM

    Comment #11

    Like it or lump it really, Gayle isn’t slowing down so Mitro is gonna have to better his level now

    They won’t play together

  • BeeGuy

    Oct 21, 2016 at 8:00 PM

    Comment #12

    If we want a derby next year, NUFC should loan him out to Sunderland as soon as the window opens.

  • Jib

    Oct 21, 2016 at 8:24 PM

    Comment #13


    Mitro looked mobile enough against Austria .

    The trouble with blogworld is someone deliver’s an opinion and all the nodding donkeys agree no matter how flawed it is and then it gets accepted as the truth.

    People on here saying how good Danny Simpson is at Leicester when 4 years ago they were queuing up to slag him off !

  • lesh

    Oct 21, 2016 at 8:34 PM

    Comment #14


    I think Rafa’s tip for the bingo was when he referred to attacks starting from Darlow or Sels.

    Sels to start tomorrow I’d guess?

  • lochinvar

    Oct 21, 2016 at 8:39 PM

    Comment #15

    Mitro must be building up such a head of steam that when he does get a game the Flying Scotsman will be redundant and the Mitrobolt Express will be flying… could be interesting when if happens

  • stephen1971

    Oct 21, 2016 at 8:48 PM

    Comment #16

    extra training for the guys that need to step up to the mark, thats the way rafa, , kick their arses, love the way he works

  • lochinvar

    Oct 21, 2016 at 9:03 PM

    Comment #17

    Burton one up on Birmingham so that could be another useful result if it stays that way …

  • BandB

    Oct 21, 2016 at 9:27 PM

    Comment #18


    Good to see no-one is picking on you anymore, or treating your posts like garbage.
    Or telling you what you are and aren’t allowed to comment on.
    Was this what all that hauling you out of the clarts over the years was about?
    Was all you ever wanted to be a popular poster?
    I’m beginning to think so.

  • mattyNUFC

    Oct 21, 2016 at 9:39 PM

    Comment #19

    Hey all

    Looking for some help. I’m looking at going to the Preston match on the 29th. I’ve never bought away tickets before and looking for some guidance on how to do so


  • Moonraker15

    Oct 21, 2016 at 10:16 PM

    Comment #20

    Just log on to the official Nufc website go to tickets and register your name and address. You will be emailed a registration number. Then go to buy tickets follow instructions and it will ask for your membership details and if there are any tickets available you can pay online. Tickets can be sent to your address or you can collect !

  • Sheikh MagToon

    Oct 21, 2016 at 10:16 PM

    Comment #21

    MattyToon, these sold out 2 weeks ago I’m afraid. You need to keep an eye on nufc.com for ticket details.

  • Jimmy……Jimmy……Jimmy Smith

    Oct 21, 2016 at 10:26 PM

    Comment #22

    I pretty much accept Pardew’s version of his time at Newcastle. You can say he was complicit, and certainly the club had a “process” of short changing the football side of the club that he would have been acutely aware of. But hanging in there in less than ideal circumstances until something better comes along is something we can all empathise with, and I think Pardew gave it his best shot despite the problems he had to manage.

    It’s like a love affair that’s long since ended, in the sense that it just doesn’t matter anymore. But he does raise a good point about Ashley, who he has been criticising, not the club, in that he thinks he has learned his lesson, with both SD and Newcastle, where he has been badly found out publicly, and you do get the sense that this natural instinct to short change, the irresistible urge to consider near enough good enough, might well be something he’s now recognising doesn’t have real legs.

  • Munster Mag

    Oct 21, 2016 at 10:32 PM

    Comment #23

    Jib, Danny Simpson was always a good defender but numpties on this blog don’t realise that defenders need to be defenders first and foremost

  • Jimmy……Jimmy……Jimmy Smith

    Oct 21, 2016 at 10:38 PM

    Comment #24

    CB’s need to be defenders first and foremost. Modern fullbacks are required to be good going forward as well as solid at the back. Dummett plays fullback like a CB, and that’s where the criticism comes from. Benitez loves Anita, but he’s not getting games first and foremost for his defensive qualities, he’s getting them for his capacity to do both.

  • Nufc-83

    Oct 21, 2016 at 11:02 PM

    Comment #25

    Think you have just showed how out of touch you are with football Munster.

    Maybe try following cricket it’s a much simpler straight forward game?

  • Tsunki

    Oct 21, 2016 at 11:09 PM

    Comment #26

    Refurbishing Danny Simpson so soon in living memory? Bold brush strokes those!

    Rafa playing the long game with Mitrovic. Will it be the making of him?

  • beermonkey

    Oct 21, 2016 at 11:54 PM

    Comment #27


    i think hope it will be the making of him
    ifhe isnt starting more games by jan he will be gone either end jan or the summer

    as for simpson
    Mahrez doesnt like the full back and over lapping him so ranierri has told simpson not to cross the half way line
    it plays to both players strength
    good management
    watched an interview with ranierri and he was talking about Mahrez

    if they didnt have Mahrez simpson would be back up

  • Jimmy……Jimmy……Jimmy Smith

    Oct 22, 2016 at 12:07 AM

    Comment #28

    That reminds me of something I recently heard about Messi. On average footballers run more than 10 kms a match. He runs on average 3.5.

    But it makes sense to have a solid defender, behind a great attacker, and let them both focus on what they do best. But Gouffran and Dummett? Both whole hearted pros and capable enough at this level, considering our relative strength elsewhere, but we don’t have a particularly threatening left flank as a result.

    You’d expect both positions to be upgraded once back up or even throughout this season. Both Haidarra and Lazaar must be close to the shirt, particularly with Gouffran doing well.

  • Jimmy……Jimmy……Jimmy Smith

    Oct 22, 2016 at 1:07 AM

    Comment #29

    Just checked my facts, and yes, sorry, that’s rubbish, although its true he runs less on average. I was somewhat misled.

  • chicousa

    Oct 22, 2016 at 1:17 AM

    Comment #30

    Rafa bingo confirmed lineup:

    Yedlin, Lascelles, Clark, Dummett
    Shelvey, Colback
    Ritchie, Ayoze, Atsu

    Score prediction: 2 – 0

  • chicousa

    Oct 22, 2016 at 1:35 AM

    Comment #31

    The idea that Mitrovic and Gayle can not or will never play together has been disproved already. Look at the greatest few moments of this season so far….the match against Norwich. Both were on the pitch at the end when the equalizer and the winner were both scored. And it was Mitro who controlled the pass into the box from Jonjo, and tipped to Gayle who then had that glorious winner. So they CAN play together! I agree with Tsunki who said Rafa is playing the long game with Mitro….spot on!

  • Jimmy……Jimmy……Jimmy Smith

    Oct 22, 2016 at 3:53 AM

    Comment #32

    Chicousa. you’re projecting pal, and I can hardly blame you, I’m a Mitro fan myself. But it would appear Mitro is definitely Rafa’s plan B, as things stand, and the Gayle Mitro thing only happens when were staring down the barrel.

  • chicousa

    Oct 22, 2016 at 4:41 AM

    Comment #33

    Jimmy….(3x) Smith,
    Yeah, starting Mitrovic does not seem to be in Rafa’s plans for now, while Gayle is playing so well. And he seems to like Diame or Perez in the 10 spot, though neither seem to fit that position very naturally. But as you noticed I am indeed a big Mitro fan! And I do think Rafa is working on the big Serb to shore up both his maturity and the weak spots in his game. Clearly Rafa sees the potential in Mitrovic….down the road.

  • Jimmy……Jimmy……Jimmy Smith

    Oct 22, 2016 at 5:23 AM

    Comment #34

    “Clearly Rafa sees the potential in Mitrovic….down the road.”

    Don’t see that clearly at all, haha, but although I like Gayle, I really rate Mitro, and so I hope your right. He’s great fun, and is terrific on his day.

  • Jib

    Oct 22, 2016 at 5:45 AM

    Comment #35

    I see it Jimmy
    In his last 3 pressers Rafa has talked about big Al’s progress and before that how he rushed to the TV to watch his goals and texted him after,
    Why would Rafa bother if Mitro was not in his plans at some stage?

  • Jib

    Oct 22, 2016 at 6:13 AM

    Comment #36

    Today’s games

    I think Norwich will stay on our tail for now with a home game against Preston.

    Of the rest of the pack
    I can see Sheff Wed moving up (home game against QPR)

    Brighton a difficult trip to the NW versus Wigan.

    Huddersfield who have lost their last two have difficult home game against a resurgent Derby County who have yet to lose under their new manager Steve somebody.

    Bristol v Birmingham a likely draw

    Last but not least Villa at home v Fulham under Steve Bruce should be getting back in the mix !

  • Jib

    Oct 22, 2016 at 7:07 AM

    Comment #37

    Bristol v Blackburn I meant
    Birmingham got beat off of Burton 2 – 0 last night!

  • sing in the corner

    Oct 22, 2016 at 8:01 AM

    Comment #38

    Work today for me, so it’s catching a sneaky listen to Radio Newcastle if possible. I think we will win, going for 3.1 to us. I think we are slowly working out the way to dominate teams. I’d like to me to see us keep the burners on when we get ahead at home, taking our foot off and closing out the game has caused us a few unnecessary problems from time to time this season.
    But we are learned nag every game, and I have full confidence in the gaffer, he’s done amazing things for us considering where we were.

  • sing in the corner

    Oct 22, 2016 at 8:03 AM

    Comment #39

    * you get my drift…
    A pox on you, auto (in)correct!

  • Jib

    Oct 22, 2016 at 8:11 AM

    Comment #40

    I get it – we need a “learnéd nag”
    I suggest my mother-in-law could do a job


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