Aleksandar Mitrovic reveals he almost lost his head as he waited for Newcastle chance

Aleksandar Mitrovic
Aleksandar Mitrovic

Aleksandar Mitrovic told of his relief after finding the net – after almost losing his head.

Mitrovic scored his first goal of the campaign in Tuesday night’s 6-0 win over Queens Park Rangers.

It has been a really frustrating few weeks for me, and it has been hard for me to keep my head right.

Aleksandar Mitrovic

It was the striker’s first Championship appearance of the season.

The 21-year-old missed the first four games of the campaign through suspension and sat out another game with concussion.

Mitrovic, an unused substitute against Derby County at the weekend, finally got his chance at Loftus Road five weeks into the new season.

“It has been a really frustrating few weeks for me, and it has been hard for me to keep my head right,” said Mitrovic, preparing for Saturday’s home game against Wolverhampton Wanderers.

“But I always knew I would come through OK and the game against QPR proves that.

“It has been hard for me to stay strong in my head, but I knew I just had to wait for my chance and everything would be OK.”

The QPR win was the club’s biggest away from home in the league in 54 years, but Mitrovic felt the margin of victory could have been even greater.

“It was a really amazing night,” he said. “We got everything we wanted, and it felt like pretty like every much we got the ball, we were going forward and looking like we were going to score.

“We scored six goals, but I actually thought we could have got even more because we had shots that hit the crossbar and their goalkeeper made a couple of good saves.

“Every single player was really amazing, and it was a great mood in the dressing room when we came in after the game.”

Mitrovic – who scored United’s fifth goal from close range after good work from debutant Christian Atsu – admits he is still short of fitness, having played just 111 minutes of competitive club football so far this season.

“I think you could see from the game that I am still not 100% there,” said the Serbia international.

“Physically, my fitness is still not quite at the best level, where I want it to be. I still need a couple more games to get my best level back. I will get there though.

“Some guys have played six or seven games, this was just my second game of the season and by the end, it was getting harder and harder to run.

“I just need to keep working hard, and then every game will be better and better.”

Mitrovic, now in his second season at the club, feels he can make a big contribution up front in the Championship.

“I feel like I can definitely score goals at this level,” he said. “I know I still have to improve, particularly with my fitness, but I am confident I can score goals this season and help Newcastle win games.

“It obviously helps because I have a lot of good players around me, and that’s important for everybody.

“There is good competition up front as well, which is good. There’s Dwight Gayle, Ayoze (Perez) and now Daryl Murphy as well. I like that. We will push each other and get better, which can only be good.

“You just have to look around the dressing room to see that we have a good team.

“The gaffer is trying to give a chance to everyone. Nobody knows who will play, so you have to give your best in every game.”