Aleksandar Mitrovic is targeting victory at Manchester City to confirm Newcastle’s emergence from their early-season doldrums after a thrilling draw with Barclays Premier League champions Chelsea.
The Magpies brought an end to a dismal four-game losing streak by battling to within four minutes of victory over Jose Mourinho’s men at St James’ Park on Saturday evening before having to settle for a 2-2 draw.
“We have a very difficult game, maybe more difficult than (Chelsea), against City on Saturday, but we need to believe.Aleksandar Mitrovic
While there was disappointment on Tyneside on the final whistle, there was also renewed belief and a sense that head coach Steve McClaren’s pleas for patience might just have some merit.
A testing fixture list – they have already faced Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea during the opening weeks of the campaign – takes them to the Etihad Stadium on Saturday, but it is a trip £13million summer signing Mitrovic is relishing.
He said: “This game is very good for our confidence. We saw we can play against big teams. We need to work this week very hard.
“We have a very difficult game, maybe more difficult than (Chelsea), against City on Saturday, but we need to believe.
“As I said, we will work hard all week and we need to go there with confidence and try to win the game.”
The Magpies, so abject in their Capital One Cup defeat against a much-changed Sheffield Wednesday in midweek, responded in just the fashion McClaren had hoped, initially by defending robustly before eventually opening up and taking the game to the visitors.
Mitrovic, who turned in a disciplined individual display on his return from a three-match ban, admitted the pressure Chelsea exerted in the last 20 minutes had been hard to hold back.
He said: “We can be disappointed and happy at the same time, but we gave a good performance, especially in the first half. We played really good football like a team.
“Chelsea were huge in the last 20 minutes and showed why they were champions last year. They scored two goals.
“But we need to be happy and we need to keep working to play like this next week as well.”