Rafa Benitez says Aleksandar Mitrovic's Newcastle teammates must help him

Newcastle Utd - Striped Fans

Newcastle United and Sunderland went head-to-head this weekend.

Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez has been speaking to the Telegraph after his side’s 1-1 draw with Sunderland.

The Magpies went behind when Jermain Defoe scored for the Black Cats shortly before half-time, but in what was a crucial match in the relegation battle Aleksandar Mitrovic equalised with just seven minutes remaining.

Had Sunderland won they would have moved four points clear of their fierce rivals; however the summer signing’s equaliser ensured neither side was left to suffer too much after a crucial weekend of action.

Mitrovic arrived at St James’ Park with a huge reputation as a prolific goal-scorer after netting 44 goals in 90 matches for Anderlecht, yet he has struggled to replicate that form to date.

Prior to Sunday’s match, the 21-year-old had scored just five goals in 27 matches for Newcastle, but he has earned hero status after his latest strike pegged back Sam Allardyce’s men.

Speaking after the game, recently appointed Newcastle manager Benitez told the Telegraph, “That goal was really important for everyone here.

“I’ve said Mitro has potential but we have to help him. If we deliver crosses like that, he will score goals.”

Next up for Newcastle is a trip to Norwich City after the latest international break.

Register for NEWCASTLE UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch