Aleksandar Mitrovic: I can save Newcastle after coming through ‘difficult time’

Aleksandar Mitrovic scores from the penalty spot
Aleksandar Mitrovic scores from the penalty spot

Aleksandar Mitrovic’s feels he’s getting to grips with Premier League football in time to save Newcastle United from relegation.

The striker won and converted a penalty in Tuesday night’s 3-3 draw against Manchester United.

I’ve been unlucky in the last few games. The goals will come

Aleksandar Mitrovic

Mitrovic had missed a series of chances during the relegation-threatened club’s four-game losing streak.

And the goal, his fourth of the season, has buoyed the 21-year-old ahead of Saturday’s home game against West Ham United.

“I’m getting better each game,” said Mitrovic, signed last summer from Anderlecht.

“It’s difficult each game. Defenders are getting stronger. Maybe a few games and more time to adapt. Every game is different.

“It’s different football to what I played in Belgium. It’s a difficult time, and maybe that is behind me. Every game I feel better, and I have more confidence.”

Referee pointed to the spot after Chris Smalling wrestled Mitrovic to the ground in the second half with the visitors leading 2-1.

The Serbia international swept the penalty past David de Gea.

“I spoke with him (head coach Steve McClaren) before the game,” said Mitrovic. “He said that if a penalty comes, I need to take it.

“It is my responsibility in this team to take the penalty. I take the ball and I score the goal, and I’m very happy.”

Wayne Rooney went on to score a third goal for Man United, but defender Paul Dummett claimed what could prove an important Premier League point for Newcastle with a 90th-minute goal.

“I was really happy,” said Mitrovic, who celebrated wildly after converting the penalty. “It’s important we have a good night because it was a really good result after being 2-0 down.

“Against Manchester United, it’s not easy to come back.

“We showed we can come back. We can win this game as well and we can lose it. I think it is a good result for both teams.

“I was going to take the penalty all season. If I don’t feel good, I give it to a team-mate.

“Scoring it will do a lot for my confidence. I needed that goal, you can see that in my celebration. I was really happy. It’s good for my confidence, and I hope I will keep scoring.”

Mitrovic added: “I’ve been unlucky in the last few games. The goals will come.”