Jonjo Shelvey may have an argument after his two goals and man of the match performance…but the player who clearly will benefit most from Tuesday’s night’s adventure, is surely Aleksandar Mitrovic.
Most managers are particularly pleased to see their centre-forward score goals but in the Serbian forward’s case, it is an even bigger positive.
Last season, by some distance Mitrovic was clearly the one who played on his emotions, a striker who was so up and down and his body language told everybody which was the case on any particular day.
At least as much as his goals, though clearly more so in my opinion, it was the striker’s very open way of expressing his joy, anger, disappointment – which made him connect with the Newcastle fanbase.
The bizarre fact that as a kid he was a Newcastle fan despite growing up in Serbia obviously helps, as well as the fact that supporters actually believed Mitrovic when he said this summer that he had no interest in leaving Newcastle despite the relegation.
His goal on Tuesday night might just have been a tap in from six yards out and the fifth of six goals in a 6-0 rout…but it could be worth so much more than that this season to both Mitrovic and the club.
He will be buzzing now and desperate to follow that up on Saturday at St James Park, with what looks sure to be another fifty thousand crowd.
To me it is a no-brainer that Mitrovic starts and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the latest team tweaking to include Gayle at last paired with the former Anderlecht striker.
Aleksandar Mitrovic turns 22 on Friday and the only present he will want is to be back out on the pitch on Saturday, it was vital that his Championship season started off in the right mood and that 6-0 demolition couldn’t have been more perfect.
“The gaffer is trying to give a chance to everyone and nobody knows who will play, so you have to give your best in every game.
“Sometimes you have days when everything you try comes off,but it’s unusual to score six goals in a game, especially away from home.
“Sometimes, everything goes perfectly – Tuesday night was that night.
“Hopefully we’ll have more days like that this year.
“We scored six goals (watch them HERE), but I actually thought we could have got even more because we had shots that hit the crossbar and their goalkeeper made a couple of good saves.
“Every single player was really amazingand it was a great mood in the dressing room when we came in after the game.
“It was a really amazing night, we got everything we wanted and it felt pretty much like every time we got the ball we were going to score – you just have to look around the dressing room to see that we have a good team.”