Serbia boss suggests Mitrović's Newcastle struggles are down to club's lack of confidence in the striker

The 22-year-old is having a hard time in finding success at St. James’ Park despite heroics for his country.

Serbia boss suggests Mitrović's Newcastle struggles are down to club's lack of confidence in the striker
(Picture: Getty Images - Jan Kruger)

Serbia coach Slavoljub Muslin believes he knows the reason behind the success of Newcastle United striker Aleksandar Mitrović at international level.

Mitrović was once again on the scoring sheet for his national team in their 3-0 win over Moldova on Saturday.

However, the 22-year-old, who joined Newcastle two years ago, is still finding it hard to deliver for the Magpies despite two full seasons at the club.

So far, Mitrović has only netted 14 times for the club in 60 competitive appearances, a stark contrast to his goalscoring record for the national side, where he has netted 10 goals in 25 appearances.

Muslin, while talking to the media, said that his confidence on the player's ability and team's system are the reasons behind Mitrović's rise while on the national duty.

“Maybe the system we play with three attackers suits him better or perhaps the coach in Newcastle doesn’t have as much confidence in him as I do,” he said. “He is our first centre-forward and perhaps he feels more comfortable playing for the national team than he does for his own club.”

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West Ham show save Mitrovic's Newcastle career

Mitrović was nearing the exit from the club in the summer transfer window after disappointing last season, where he only managed to score four goals in 30 appearances as Newcastle won the Championship title.

However, an impressive performance in the game against West Ham United - in which he scored - has seen him extend his stay at the club, even though he now faces a three-match ban for elbowing Manuel Lanzini.

Mitrović joined Newcastle from Belgian club Anderlecht in 2015 after showing impressive form for his former club, where he scored 36 goals in 69 matches.

Even though he remains a darling of the crowd for his passion and will to deliver in big matches, the Serbian front-man has once again found himself down the pecking order due to his temperament and inconsistency. He will hope to iron out such issues this term as he looks to finally cement a permanent place in Rafael Benitez's side.