Aleksandar Mitrovic made his first Championship start in seven weeks on Friday night and was happy with himself.
Despite the late Leeds equaliser, when analysing his own performance, Newcastle’s number 45 reckoned he’d held the ball up well and won 80% of the balls in the air, plus claimed an assist for Jamaal Lascelles’ goal.
The Serbian striker last started a game when Newcastle drew 2-2 with Bristol City, United going two down before an own goal and one from Ciaran Clark saved the day.
Given his chance due to Dwight Gayle’s injury, Mitrovic started four league games in February but only had the tap-in goal at Wolves to show for his efforts.
Dropped after that four game run, it has been Gayle and Murphy getting the chance to lead the line ever since.
However, maybe Leeds can be his turning point, with four games remaining for Mitrovic to impress Rafa Benitez and improve his tally of four Championship goals.
Aleksandar Mitrovic talking to the official club website:
“We played probably our best game this season, and we definitely deserved to win…but this is football.
“We didn’t score the second goal, and they scored in the last second.
“This is why football is the most amazing and popular thing in the world, maybe on Monday we will get the win in the last second, you never know.
“We are still in a good position and in the Championship there are so many games, so you don’t have a lot of time to think about (the last) game. In a few days we have another one (Ipswich away on Monday).
“We have to recover and prepare for that because it will be a tough game as well.
“We keep going. This is game is finished and we have lost two points, we have to learn from this.
“We have to stay focused and from tomorrow (Saturday) we have to recover fast and prepare our bodies and minds for the Ipswich game.
“It has been a really long time since I started but I was happy to play the whole game and I think I played really well.
“I held up the ball, won 80% of balls in the air, I got an assist – so it is alright.
“I didn’t get a goal but I will try to score next time.”