Aleksandar Mitrovic has cut a frustrated figure for much of this past season at St James Park but his national team have given some respite.
Mitrovic has four goals in Serbia’s five World Cup qualifiers so far, scoring last time in the 3-1 win over Georgia, as well as twice in the 3-2 victory in Austria, as well as the goal that secured a 1-1 draw in Wales.
With goals in friendlies against Russia and Cyprus, the Newcastle United number 45 now has six goals in his last six international appearances.
Newcastle’s number 45 has now been named in the Serbia squad that will host Wales on Sunday 11 June.
Serbia currently top Group D on goal difference from the Republic of Ireland but a win in this next match, would put Mitrovic and his international teammates seven points ahead of Wales with only four games left to play.
Ireland are home to Austria on the same day Serbia/Mitrovic play.
How Group D looks now, number of points before each country:
11 Serbia +6 GD
11 Republic of Ireland +4 GD
7 Wales +4 GD
7 Austria +1 GD
2 Georgia -2 GD
1 Moldova -11 GD
Aleksandar Mitrovic talking ahead of the Georgia (scored in a 3-1 win) game in March:
“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.”