Newcastle boss Steve McClaren discusses how hard Aleksandar Mitrovic has been working in training

St James Park

The 21-year-old scored the winner during the Magpies' clash with West Brom to move the club out of the Premier League's bottom three.

Newcastle United boss Steve McClaren has provided an insight into how hard Aleksandar Mitrovic has been working since his arrival at St James' Park, the Newcastle Chronicle reports, after the Serbian bagged the winner during the club's clash with West Brom on Saturday.

The 21-year-old has come in for criticism during his time in the Premier League due to several incidents of poor discipline, as well as for a lack of goals. 

And it appeared that he may be in for another frustrating afternoon against the Baggies, as it was his presence that led to Cheick Tiote's strike being ruled out for offside after 29 minutes. 

However, the former Anderlecht man made amends three minutes later, scoring the only goal with a neat finish. And following the winner, McClaren explained how hard Mitrovic is working to prove all of his critics wrong.

"He's never shied away from anything and I've always said that," he told the Chronicle.

"He's had his critics, but he's 21 years old and he leads the line and fights. He's in the box, he's there to miss.

"He's doing an extra two hours' worth of training every day and I've been trying to get him off [the training field], but that's because he wants it so much."

As well as his inability to stay out of trouble during his first few appearances for the club, his lack of important goals was one of the reasons that many appeared to suggest that his time with the Magpies would ultimately be deemed a failure. 

His first goal for the club came in the 6-1 defeat to Manchester City, while his second came in the 6-2 win over Norwich. 

However, since then, Mitrovic's goals have been much more crucial to the side's chances of survival. He scored the equaliser during the impressive victory away at Tottenham, bagged a penalty in the dramatic 3-3 draw with Manchester United and his goal on Saturday lifted McClaren's men out of the division's bottom three.

But with survival still a long way off being assured, his manager will be hoping that the striker maintains his desire to work hard off the pitch, as it may prove vital to the club's hopes of success on it.

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