Will Aleksandar Mitrovic and Ayoze Perez start for Newcastle? Rafa Benitez's thoughts on 'problem' decision

Aleksandar Mitrovic
Aleksandar Mitrovic

Rafa Benitez says he has a "problem" at relegation-threatened Newcastle United ahead of tomorrow's game at Southampton.

Benitez is considering recalling Aleksandar Mitrovic and Ayoze Perez to his starting XI at the St Mary's Stadium.

The pair came off the bench against Norwich City last weekend – Mitrovic scored twice in a 3-2 defeat at Carrow Road – and fans are calling for them to start against Southampton.

And Benitez – whose side is second-bottom of the Premier League with seven games left to play – admits he has a selection dilemma ahead of the match.

Asked if Mitrovic and Perez would play, Benitez said: “The good thing we have is that Papiss Cisse was good the other day, Mitrovic is scoring goals and Ayoze is doing well, so we have players who have some quality and they can help.

"It's a problem for me, because I have to decide, but it's good news for us because we have more players now.

"When Papiss was injured, we couldn't choose him. Now he's another option and as I have always said, competition between players is good for the team."

Asked if he was pleased with Mitrovic against Norwich, he added: “Not from the bench, I am really pleased with him every day because he is training really hard.

"But it would not be fair to see he is training hard, and that's it, because the others are training really well.

“The team, I can guarantee, are giving everything in every training session, and we have to stop the mental block that they have. They are a little bit blocked and we need to change this."