‘Tough guy’ Aleksandar Mitrovic hailed after putting body on the line for Newcastle

Aleksandar Mitrovic is stretchered off after sustaining a leg injury at Birmingham City on Saturday. Picture by Terry Rickeard.
Aleksandar Mitrovic is stretchered off after sustaining a leg injury at Birmingham City on Saturday. Picture by Terry Rickeard.
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Jamaal Lascelles has backed “tough guy” Aleksandar Mitrovic to quickly get back on the field.

The Newcastle United striker suffered a deep gash to his leg in Saturday’s FA Cup tie against Birmingham City.

Mitro’s a tough guy. He’ll recover from it. There are no bones broken. He’s a tough guy. He’ll be back in no time.

Jamaal Lascelles

Mitrovic was given oxygen as he was stretchered off the field at St Andrew’s, where Newcastle were held to a 1-1 draw.

The 22-year-old was caught by the studs of Adam Legzdins as the goalkeeper attempted to stop a shot from Daryl Murphy, who opened the scoring.

Mitrovic expects to be sidelined for “three or four weeks”.

And United captain Lascelles, relieved that Mitrovic didn’t suffer any broken bones or ligament damage, is confident that the Serbia international will soon be able to rejoin the club’s promotion challenge.

“Mitro’s a tough guy,” said Lascelles. “He’ll recover from it. There are no bones broken. He’s a tough guy. He’ll be back in no time.

“I didn’t see it. I just saw the cut on his leg, which was quite deep.

“Because he was throwing his body around there, he got us a goal. Fair play to him. He’ll be back sooner than we think.”

Lukas Jutkiewicz earned a replay for Birmingham with a 42nd-minute strike.

Benitez – who made eight changes for the game – had fielded Mitrovic up front with Murphy with his team set out in a 3-5-2 formation.

“We set out in a different formation that we’re not used to,” said Lascelles.

We had a lot of players that hadn’t played in a while. I think they’ve come in and done a great job. They got a lot of fitness from the game.

“We’re looking forward to playing them at our place.

“We did start off really well. We knew it would be really tough. They’re physical and big on second balls. We know how to play against them.”

Lascelles played in a three-man defence with Grant Hanley and fit-again Massadio Haidara.

“We’re going to trust whatever formation he tells us to play,” said Lascelles.

“We only had a few days to work on it. We’ll have more time this week to work on our strengths and weaknesses.”

Newcastle take on Brentford at Griffin Park in the Championship on Saturday.