Things are suddenly looking very much on the up for Aleksandar Mitrovic.
Up until Tuesday night, the Serbian striker had only started two matches this season – the 6-0 win over QPR when Mitrovic scored and led the line well, plus a 38 minute run out against Cheltenham where the forward picked up a concussion and was forced off when the game was goalless.
Rafa Benitez has been at pains to remind every player that if opportunity knocks, they must be in the right physical and mental shape to take advantage.
Mitrovic is never going to catch Christian Atsu in a straight race but his two performances this week have shown a sharpness and decent pace/reaction over five yards that had been missing previously.
With four goals in these past five days, the one-time Anderlecht striker is loving the upturn in fortunes, describing it as ‘an amazing week’.
Dwight Gayle was missing with a hamstring problem at Preston on Saturday and with a 15 day international break following Cardiff City at home next weekend, Mitrovic is surely set to get yet another chance to impress Rafa Benitez with Gayle unlikely to be risked.
What Rafa then does though with his strikeforce for the following game against Leeds United on Sunday 20 November, is anybody’s guess.
Aleksandar Mitrovic said all the right things before the Preston match and has lived up to his passionate words with another excellent performance.
The number 45 is a player that Newcastle fans are desperate to see succeed and just maybe, he is now suggesting that he could save Newcastle significant money in the transfer market if they head back to the Premier League next season.
“It has been an amazing week and the only thing I can do is work hard and when I get a chance – try to take it.
“It is up to the gaffer if I play or not and we have a lot of quality in the side, a lot of quality on the bench.
“The deliveries for both goals today were amazing – I knew I would not get a lot of chances so when they came, I just had to try and stay focussed.
“It is a good achievement to be where we are but the season is really long. We want to stay on top and win this league.
“There are a lot of games to play and this is the way we have to go on, to keep working and try to win every game.”
“It was a really good team performance.
“I scored two goals (Watch them HERE) but the most important thing was to win this game.
“We won like a team and we were fighting all the game.
“In the past this is the kind of game we would lose – we would lose 1-0, today we showed we have learned from that.
“It was always going to be tough because we won 6-0 on Tuesday and it could have been more, so Preston wanted to show that was not a fair result.
“The important thing is that we have three points and now have to carry on and try to keep this mentality and confidence.”