Ex-Newcastle United man reveals the 'problems' he saw under Mike Ashley's ownership
Former Newcastle United striker Aleksandar Mitrovic has opened up on the 'problems' facing the club under the ownership of Mike Ashley.
Mitrovic spent three years at St James's Park but struggled for consistency, and left the club to join Fulham earlier this summer after a goal-laden loan spell at the Cottagers last season.
During his three years on Tyneside, the Serbian striker observed at first hand the state of the club under the leadership of Ashley and the problems faced by the club.
Ashley's ownership has been heavily criticised with fans protesting outside Sports Direct stores in the centre of Newcastle ahead of the club's first two home fixtures of the Premier League campaign.
Supporters have grown increasingly frustrated at the lack of spending on players which in turn has seen Rafa Benitez fail to commit his long-term future to the club.
Benitez is out of contract at the end of the season but is yet to open talks over a new deal.
And while Mitrovic believes that the club have made some strides forward under the stewardship of Ashley, he knows they have also been accompanied by backward steps in other areas - and this is where he feels the problems lie.
Speaking in an interview with the Daily Mail, the 23-year-old said: “Newcastle is a big club but they have problems with the owner.
“Everyone knows Mike Ashley. They have taken large steps forward but also to go back.
"I do wish them success.”
Mitrovic also lifted the lid on the criticism he received from boyhood hero Alan Shearer on Match of the Day - saying it hasn't soured his view of the Newcastle United legend.
“Shearer is still my hero and it’s his job to do analysis,” he admitted.
"He was most of the time right, of course. My father says the same. I know myself when I play bad anyway.
"He is still a legend and I don’t think England will ever have a striker like him again.”