Paul Simpson says that Aleksandar Mitrovic is essential to Steve McClaren’s plans and ‘makes a massive difference’.

The Newcastle first team coach thought that in the Chelsea match, Mitrovic was a ‘real positive’ and believes that United have to do everything they can to keep him fit and on the pitch.

This latest interview is only one of many from McClaren and his staff, which talk of how vital the Serbian striker is to United’s hopes this season.

Mitrovic did ok away at Manchester United, but that was almost entirely a rearguard performance by the team with little forward play.

However, on Saturday we finally saw glimpses of how potentially Newcastle can play decent football this season and put away any fears of relegation. Though at this stage without the points on the board, nothing can be taken for granted yet.

Whilst the talk about Mitrovic’s potential is always positive, I get the feeling when I hear the likes of McClaren and Simpson talk about Papiss Cisse, it is the exact opposite.

Obviously they don’t slag him off but reading between the lines it looks like they have as much faith in Cisse as most of the fans do now.

Mitrovic might not have scored a goal yet but I’m sure that/they will come, so long as he gets half-decent service.

The big worry for me is that as well as relying on goals from the number 45, Mitrovic is obviously key to how McClaren wants to play this season, to hold the ball up and be the ‘focal point of our attacks’ as Paul Simpson says below.

Without Mitrovic on the pitch this season, Newcastle have looked clueless going forward, with no visible alternative plan of how to score goals without the former Anderlecht forward.

I have a feeling we’ll be fine if Aleksandar Mitrovic stays fit (and mostly suspension free) but if he doesn’t…?

Paul Simpson talking to the club’s official tv channel:

“He (Mitrovic) is a massive difference, we were trying with Papiss up there….and now, Papiss is a different type of striker.

“Papiss wants things played in behind for him to run onto – he needs balls bobbling around in that six yard box, or even that 12 yards from goal area, that’s the type of striker he is.”

Keep him fit:

“Mitrovic was a real focal point of our attacks, he got the ball and held it up. It was a real positive – he is a major part of how Steve wants his team to play.

“We have to do everything we can to keep Mitrovic on the pitch, to keep him fit and hopefully Papiss will show his worth as well.”