Aleksandar Mitrovic has promised that his Newcastle United team-mates will battle for every available point in their remaining seven fixtures as they look to beat the drop.
The Serbian thought he had secured a vital point for the Magpies when he fired his penalty past John Ruddy to equalise with three minutes remaining. Rafael Benitez and Newcastle were undone in stoppage time when Martin Olsson scored a late winner at Carrow Road which means that Mitrovic & Co. are now six points adrift from safety.
Benitez’ decision to start Mitrovic on the bench raised a few eyebrows from the travelling Newcastle fans, but his two goals will surely mean the Serbian will start against Southampton on Saturday.
“I scored two goals and I hope I helped my team a little to play better football than in the first half,” Mitrovic told nufcTV. “In the first half, we didn’t really play like we want but the second half was really good and we didn’t deserve to lose the game.
“But we lost, and we need to move on and prepare for the next game.”
Mitrovic has scored eight goals in the Premier League season following his move from Anderlecht in the summer. The young forward told nufcTV that the best way to move on “is to win the next game” but insisted that “it will be difficult.”
Southampton have stuttered of late, but the trip down South won’t be no easy feat for the Magpies.
“We must be strong in our heads,” said Mitrovic. “It’s difficult now but we need to start winning games.
“Our fans were amazing, like always. I hope they will stay with us for these seven games because we will need them now more than ever.”
Darlow ready to grasp opportunity
Karl Darlow started in goal for Newcastle after Rob Elliot was ruled out for the remainder of the season after picking up an injury on international duty with Republic of Ireland.
The 25-year-old made a number of key saves to keep Newcastle in the game at 1-0 down, which spurred the forward on to grab an equaliser.
Darlow is determined to grab this first-team opportunity with “both hands” and hopes to play a key role in keeping Newcastle in the Premier League.
“The fans were excellent,” Darlow told nufcTV. “Hopefully I can repay them with some good performances.”
Now number one, Darlow is “concentrating” on getting a number of games under his belt, “hopefully saving this team from relegation.”
The goalkeeper praised “good character” after coming back from a goal down on two occasions, but told nufcTV that the game was on a “knife-edge” which “unfortunately swung the other way.”
Darlow added: “We’ve got seven games left now and we need to show that heart and desire away from home again next week at Southampton.”