Aleksandar Mitrovic led from the front on Friday night, helping Serbia to recover from an early Georgia goal.

The Serbs running out eventual 3-1 winners and Mitrovic scoring a brilliant 20 yard shot that flashed past the home keeper.

After making it six goals in his last six internationals, the striker declared ‘The position where I play requires me to score goals’.

In the same 10 months that the forward has scored his half dozen for Serbia, he has only scored four league goals for his club.

Sidelined by Rafa Benitez most of the time, when Mitrovic has been given the chance either from the start or off the bench, he has rarely looked the part.

The Newcastle United number 45 thinks Serbia are now well on their way to Russia in summer 2018, top of the table on goal difference after playing five of the 10 qualifying group matches.

However, it would be a brave man who bets on Mitrovic still being a Newcastle player by then, unless Rafa Benitez has a secret plan we don’t know about…

Aleksandar Mitrovic after Serbia beat Georgia 3-1:

“It’s a long time since I scored a goal from outside the area…I even surprised myself.

“The position where I play requires me to score goals.

“Dusan Tadic gave me a good ball and I turned and saw the goalkeeper had not covered that part of the goal.

“We didn’t play well, I do not know why, but we managed to get through it.

“We are on the way to World Cup (qualification) now but we must continue to work hard.

“There are still a lot of matches to play and we have only completed the first round (of matches).”

Aleksandar Mitrovic last week talking ahead of the Georgia game:

“We play in a very demanding league (Championship) – a lot of training and a lot of hard work.

“I may not have played in the (recent) games but I have trained hard, I played in a few (previously) but it has not worked out how I wanted it to in those games.

“The last time I played with the international team I was not a regular at my club but I contributed goals (scored the goal that got Serbia a draw in Wales) in the national team and I was ready.

“Playing for my country gives me all the motivation to train well.

 “I have Newcastle teammates (Dummett, Clark, Murphy, Elliot) from Wales and Ireland who said that their matches against Georgia have been the most difficult in qualifying.

“They (Georgia) have quality, especially in attack, and can be dangerous if you give them the space…we need to go into the match thinking that we are playing against one of the greats.”