How has Aleksandar Mitrovic reacted to being dropped from Newcastle United's squad? Rafa Benitez reveals all...
Rafa Benitez has revealed how Aleksandar Mitrovic reacted to being axed from the Newcastle United squad.
The Serbian forward was left out out United's matchday 18 for the trip to Huddersfield last weekend as well as the draw at Reading three days later.
With play-off chasing Fulham coming to town, it also remains to be seen whether Mitrovic will be involved tomorrow, with Dwight Gayle pushing Daryl Murphy hard for a starting place against the Cottagers.
While many may expect the international frontman, hardly renowned for his temperament, to have sulked in light of being dropped, Benitez has revealed that he has been training as hard as ever in a bid to return to the manager's favour.
"He has been training well," said Benitez.
"With the striker situation, it is quite difficult for us.
"When Gayle and Mitro were in the squad, Murphy had to wait.
"Gayle was injured, then Mitro was involved and playing.
"Now, Murphy has been playing and Gayle is coming back. It is difficult."
Benitez has tasked Mitrovic, who was linked with a January exit to French giants PSG, as well as a summer switch elsewhere, with continuing to get his head down in training.
It is hard work that will see the Serb return, nothing else, says Benitez.
"He has to keep doing what he has done this week and train really well," said the manager, on the eve of his one-year anniversary at United.
"Mitro has been training well. I know he will go with the national team, so hopefully he will keep pushing and scoring goals."