By Dominic Toner

Aleksandar Mitrovic reveals that manager Rafa Benitez has had a big influence on him as he prepares to make his first appearance of the season.

Benitez elected to stay with Newcastle for this season despite the club’s relegation from the Premier League.

Mitrovic, 21, has been suspended for the first four matches of the season following his red card against Tottenham in the final league game of last campaign.

The Serbian striker is set to return for the EFL second-round cut tie against Cheltenham on Tuesday and could make his Championship debut days later against Brighton.

“Rafa coming in has had a big impact on me,” Mitrovic told the Chronicle. “Not just me, on every player. We know we can learn a lot.

“He’s had a big impact and we try to listen to him. He knows how to win titles and cups and we have the best manager we could hope for.”

The Magpies front man was one of the team’s shining lights towards the end of last season as they narrowly failed in their bid to escape Premier League relegation.

Mitrovic has sccored nine goals for Newcastle in just 36 appearances across all competitions, since moving to St James’ Park last summer.

But the £13million signing from Anderlecht picked up two red cards last season and has a susceptible temperament.

Benitez has subsequently brought in versatile forward Dwight Gayle for around £10million from Crystal Palace after allowing Papiss Cisse to move to China.

The Spaniard also has Ayoze Perez and Adam Armstrong at his disposal for the long season.

Benitez has managed some of Europe’s top club’s including Real Madrid and Liverpool, but is now fully focused on clinching Newcastle promotion from the Championship.

In other Newcastle team news, Mohamed Diame has revealed who helped convince him to join the club.