Steve McClaren's biggest challenge as Newcastle boss

Steve McClaren

The Tyneside manager has a job on his hands to get the best from tempestuous forward Aleksandar Mitrovic.

Following on from a dire second half to last season, it has become painstakingly evident that new Newcastle manager Steve McClaren has a major job on his hands to turn the club’s fortunes around.

There are early indications that the Tyneside club can progress this season, but the 2015-16 campaign has been fraught with both minor positives and underwhelming performances so far.

Perhaps the biggest task that McClaren faces at St James’ Park is unleashing the undoubted ability of new striker Aleksandar Mitrovic.

The North East club have a proud tradition of number nines that can frighten opposition rearguards, with the former Anderlecht man the latest to be handed that responsibility.

However, following a big-money move from the Belgian side over the summer, Mitrovic’s name has been in the headlines for the wrong reasons.

In 127 minutes of Premier League action so far this season, the young centre forward has picked up two yellow cards and a red card.

It is clear that the 20-year-old has an aggressive side to his game, which is an attribute that can be very valuable, as shown by Chelsea’s Diego Costa.

However, McClaren needs to get the Serb into line, get his mentality right and stamp out the reckless side to Mitrovic’s game.

Suspended for Newcastle’s game against West Ham on Monday night, referees will have already have earmarked the new striker as a player to watch upon his return.

As shown at former clubs and for his country, Mitrovic has all the qualities necessary to be a striking sensation for Newcastle - but only if McClaren can help him to curb the reckless side to his style of play.

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for NEWCASTLE UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch