Date: 14th February 2017 at 9:00am
Written by:

By Will Butcher

Rafa Benitez has challenged Newcastle’s Aleksandar Mitrovic to remove the needless aggression from his game.

The 23-year-old is known to cross the line on occasion, picking up two red cards in his debut season with the Magpies against Arsenal and Tottenham during the 2015-16 campaign.

Speaking to the Shields Gazette, former Liverpool manager Benitez urged Mitrovic to change his ways after picking up his fourth yellow card of the season against Wolves on Saturday.

“It’s clear that he still has to learn,” Benitez said. “He has to manage better the atmosphere, the pressure and the defenders.

“When you put everything together, you have to be sure that he will improve, but at the same time someone has to realise that it is not every time he goes and challenges that it is a foul.”

Mitrovic made just his sixth Championship start of the season against Paul Lambert’s side on Saturday, scoring the winner just before half-time in a 1-0 win at Molineux.

However, the Serbia international could be dropped by Benitez despite the goal, as Dwight Gayle is set to return from a hamstring injury.

Summer signing Gayle continues to top the domestic goalscoring charts, with 20 league strikes that have proved pivotal in seeing his side rise to the top of the Championship.

A win against Alex Neil’s resurgent Norwich could see the Toon go four points clear at the top of the table if Brighton drop points against Ipswich Town.

However, Norwich are fresh from trouncing Nottingham Forest 5-1 on Saturday, and come into the game off the back of four wins in their last five league games.

In other Newcastle news, this is the possible Newcastle side that could take to the field on the first day of the 2017-18 season.

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