Aleksandar Mitrovic says he’s fallen in love with Newcastle United and the club’s fans

Aleksandar Mitrovic
Aleksandar Mitrovic
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Aleksandar Mitrovic says he’s fallen in love with Newcastle United and the club’s fans.

The striker netted two goals in Tuesday night’s 6-0 EFL Cup win over Preston North End.

Mitrovic – who has spent most of the season on the league leaders’ bench – was the last player to leave the pitch after the final whistle.

The 22-year-old, signed from Anderlecht last year, conducted fans who were chanting “Mitro’s on fire”.

Asked about the reaction to his performance, Mitrovic said: “This is the reason I came to this great club. It’s unbelievable, especially when you score here.

“My heart is full for this club. I couldn’t be happier when I score goals for these fans and this club.

“When you hear the whole stadium sing your name, it really is unbelievable. I have heard them sing ‘Mitro is on fire’ and it really is unbelievable. I have not felt like this for a long time.

“I had really good fans behind me at a really big club like Anderlecht and Partizan (Belgrade) as well, but here you get 52,000.

“When you were a boy you dream about things like this. I have scored goals for Partizan, Anderlecht and now here. All three clubs are amazing.

“But when 52000 people sing your name, you have to be on the pitch to feel this. It is unbelievable.”

Mitrovic’s appearances this season have been limited by the form of Championship leading scorer Dwight Gayle, who has netted 11 league goals this season.

Gayle is set to return to the starting XI for Saturday’s league game against Preston at Deepdale.

Mitrovic – who also started last month’s 6-0 win over Queens Park Rangers – was happy to get another chance.

“It was good night for me,” said Mitrovic, who also wanted to take the penalty won and converted by Matt Ritchie. “It was a long time since I started a game, so I was happy to start and to get two goals. They were nice goals.

“I could have had one or two more but it doesn’t matter. My job is to score and create goals, I am happy.

“It’s not been easy for me as a striker because you have Dwight Gayle, who is scoring every game.

“I say I love Dwight. I like him a lot as a person and as a player. I will keep going, and that’s all I keep saying.

“I am working hard. If you are a good player you have to push yourself until you get your chance. I am doing that. I hope that when I get my next chance I will score.”

Mitrovic tried to take the ball from Ritchie after he was brought down in the box in the second half.

Ritchie stuffed the ball up his shirt as he waited to take the penalty.

“Matt was down to take it first,” said the Serbia international. “I asked him if I could try to score. It was nothing.

“I just fancied my chance. He scored a good penalty. It was nothing. As long as we are scoring goals, it doesn’t matter who scores.”