Rafa Benitez Continues To Back His Star Striker

Rafa Benitez has continued to back Aleksandar Mitrovic, who has been off form for a little while now and seemed to miss an absolute sitter on Saturday against Derby County on Saturday early in the second half.

That came after he missed several gilt-edged chances, including a penalty in his previous game against Oxford United in the FA Cup when we were beaten 3-0 and embarrassed by the League One club.

But after the game on Saturday Rafa said it was not as easy a chance that it appeared to be.

Rafa Benitez with Aleksandar Mitrovic

This is what he said after the game, as reported in the Chronicle today:

“He was turning and it’s not easy.”  “You can’t say the goal was open and there were no players around.”

“He was turning and it’s not easy to know exactly.”  “The main thing was we created chances.”

“We had players there and we are creating, if we are creating chances eventually we will take them.”

A manager’s job is to get the very best he can out of every player in his squad – that’s a measurement of how good any coach is.

So you would expect the manager to back his player, at least in public.

Mitro is also a much better player than he’s looked in the last several weeks for the Magpies – and it’s probably that he is lacking in confidence.

Rafa is simply trying to instill that confidence back into the Serbian striker so he can start scoring those goals for us now we are getting to the business end of the season.

And that will hopefully allow Mitro to help us get promoted.

Sounds good to us.

Comments welcome.