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.”

  • Himanshu Dhingra

    Even though Alan Shearer thinks he didn’t play well. I think he played well. Had an assist.

    • Albert Stubbins

      No offence but the considered opinion of the greatest striker the club has had will have slightly more gravitas. Coincidentally I agree with Shearer- Mitro won very little in the air- was too far behind play to be effective in the box and posed no threat to the opposition goal throughout the entire game- other than that he was awesome!!

      • nevfur

        Can’t agree he won little in the air he certainly did. Agree though he needs to get in scoring positions in the box more and obviously score more. Did think he played pretty well tho.

        • Anita kick up the Hoop

          He made a diagonal run and played Ritchie in on the left then held his position on the penalty spot for an easy return ball that should have arrived .. Ritchie chose the wrong option and tried to play The ball accrues the face of goal to Perez.. those are the difference between a Striker scoring the winner or drawing a blank .. some strikers need partners .. shearer was struggling before Sir Bob bought Bellamy to do his running and share the work load

          • nufcslf

            Shearer scored on a regular basis his whole carrier starting with a hattrick on his deputy as a youngster for Southampton and on more than one toon side where he was on his own. Cannot be compared with Mitro, they are and always will be leagues apart. Mitro has been starved of playing time most of the season and that has been unfair at times, but to think the leading scorer in Premier history is a bit harsh to have an open honest opinion is laughable.

      • Jezza

        A better forward than Mitrovic would have got a couple of goals for us last night.

      • Damon Horner

        Mitro won 58% of his aerials and their defence Jansson (45%) and Bartley – who marked him (56%). Compare this with Lascelles (80%) and their tall striker Wood (36%) and we looked significantly better than them in the air, Mitro done his job in that respect.

        Agree with your other points, pace and energy in this system seems his biggest issue and whether it contributes, it does look like he is in less/worse scoring positions than Gayle.

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    Pity the Pie Man pulled a stroke on Big Al as i`m sure he`d go to the training ground a couple of days a week & coach the strikers for nowt

  • MadMag83

    He had one of his better games. Certainly put himself about and gave everything. Still think he needs a strike partner to be effective, like Duncan Ferguson. Perez offered very little in that role yesterday.

  • 5floorshigh

    best player on the pitch

  • Geordiegiants

    I think he was alright, nothing that isn’t expected. He still didn’t get a goal on a night where we dominated.

  • Blackburn1066

    I ask you all pick your team would you have Alan Shearer, Andy Cole, Duncan Ferguson, Sir Less or Mitrovic. Its a no brainer get my point

  • Alreet

    Why all the negatives. On another night green wouldnt have been in top form. Mitro might have got one of the defenders sent off for the amount of foul play he took. Real shame he didnt get that diving header. I could have seen us nailing it after that.

    A match we totally dominated and in which the ref relied on his flag men to keep him in touch with the game.

    Get is out of this sewer of a league.

  • SH.ER

    The lad is gutted he read that his hero Shearer say “Not Good Enough” on twitter
    Just disappointing that people forget he is only 22
    Let’s face it , he is not Kane or Benzema , or Lukaku or the other good targetmen
    but is he that bad ? NO
    Can he improve in the future ? YES

    • Leazes Ender

      Not good enough for the Championship.

    • Damon Horner

      Where do you see his level, currently and potentially?

  • Kev-82

    You played really well Mitro, but please don’t blow your own trumpet. When you’re a threat on goal and finishing matches off for us then you can start shouting your mouth off a bit.

    On a serious note though, had Gayle been playing off Mitro playing like that this season we’d be promoted rather than playing this No.10 rubbish with Diame or Perez offering nothing as a goal threat

  • edward alderson

    how many goals has he scored this season not many