Aleksandar Mitrovic faced Jack Colback on Saturday.
The pair making their debuts on loan for Fulham and Forest respectively.
Jack Colback played the full match, whilst Aleksandar Mitrovic came off the bench 10 minutes into the second half with the score still 0-0.
Whilst he didn’t get a goal or an assist, Mitro will have been the happier of the pair, as Fulham ran out 2-0 winners.
It was nine months since the two players started a league match for Newcastle, both starting in the 3-0 win over Barnsley when NUFC clinched the Championship title.
Fair to say that clearly neither has a future at Newcastle under Rafa, so best case scenario is both doing well on loan and earning a permanent move elsewhere, with Rafa’s transfers funds supplemented and off the wage bill as well.
Interesting to see what each club’s local media had to say about Colback and Mitrovic…
Get West London on Aleksandar Mitrovic:
‘He replaced Rui Fonte in the 55th minute and it’s safe to say he wasted no time in getting stuck into the game.
For the first ten minutes of his debut, he caused the Forest defence problem after problem with his strength and tenacity to lay the ball off and then get into the box to get onto the end of the incoming cross.
He had a header cleared off the line from a corner – a tool that Fulham haven’t really used all season long – and was just a general nuisance for the Forest defenders.
You could also see he’s not afraid to speak his mind, spending a good couple of minutes telling one of the Forest centre backs exactly what he thought of him after a Fulham attack broke down.
You could tell he was lacking match fitness, but give him a month to get up to speed and Fulham have a real player on their hands.’
Nottingham Post on Jack Colback:
‘Jack Colback’s a bit good.
He’s very good, in fact.
While most of the new arrivals could be reasonably satisfied with their performances, the Newcastle United loanee showed he is a class act.
Always eager to get on the ball, he was calm and composed when he did have it and was a solid shield in front of the back-four. There was no bedding in period needed; it was like he’d always been a part of this squad.
He came through the 90 minutes, too, which was a bonus after so little football in recent months.
Colback could prove to be a key player for the Reds while he is at the City Ground; his experience and ability in the centre of the park could prove invaluable.’