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Head Coach Explains Mitrovic Absence

Written by Newcastle Utd

Aleksandar Mitrovic has not travelled to La Manga for Newcastle's five-day training camp, and Steve McClaren has explained why


By Dan King - Newcastle United Digital Editor


Newcastle United arrived in La Manga on Wednesday afternoon for a five-day training camp and a friendly against Lillestrom.

Steve McClaren named a 26-man playing squad for the trip, which will see the players put through their paces at the La Manga Club Football Centre before taking on Norwegian opposition on Saturday.

However, Serbian striker Aleksandar Mitrovic was not included in the group and head coach McClaren has confirmed that the 21-year-old frontman has picked up an injury.

"He's got a knee injury," McClaren told nufcTV on Wednesday.

"We're only bringing players here who can actually train over the next four days, and play in the game on Saturday.

"Mitro has a medial ligament injury, so it could be a couple of weeks - we're hoping not too long."

However while Mitrovic did not travel, Vurnon Anita, Siem de Jong and Paul Dummett did.

All three are on the road to recovery following injuries of their own, and will continue their comebacks in La Manga.

Midfielder Jack Colback, meanwhile, made his return from a hamstring injury in the second half of last weekend's defeat at Chelsea, and McClaren said: "The likes of Jack Colback need minutes.

"It's important to come here and be together and around each other after the disappointment of the weekend.

"The previous week, we had a great week and everyone was buoyant. All of a sudden, you lose at Chelsea and you're back down again.

"It's one step forward and two or three back. We made three bad mistakes in the first 15 minutes and you can't do that against Chelsea. They punished us and it was difficult to come back.

"So we've got to gather our forces again and play like we have done against the likes of West Ham, West Brom and Manchester United at home, and get back to that form."

You can watch the full nufcTV interview with Steve McClaren here