Newcastle United and Serbia striker Aleksander Mitrovic has spoken out following his exclusion from the first team in last weekend's 1-1 draw with Liverpool.
However, despite his infamous reputation of being aggressive on the pitch, the forward has been quite accepting of boss Rafa Benitez failing to include him in the match day squad.
In an interview during press duties for Serbia (quote by the ChronicleLive) the Serbian international confirmed he was ready to play whenever needed after returning from suspension.
“I was punished for three games and the team did not play badly during this time so I stayed on the bench – which was the coach's decision. I am ready physically and mentally and I can’t wait for the match in Vienna.”
Despite responding with humility, Mitrovic was the subject of jibes fellow Serbian teammate and goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic who added: “He had little problems – ‘Mitro’ didn’t play because he was naughty!”
The pair were preparing for Serbia's clash with Austria, where a win would put the Serbs in contention for qualification for next year's World Cup.
Despite being favourites to proceed to the tournament in Russia next summer, Mitrovic insists his team aren't going to slack off.
"There is no difference in the preparation of matches. We enter the game against Austria with the desire to win. We know where we stand and while see the euphoria around us we will not allow it to reflect on the result in Vienna.
“It would be a good idea to secure the World Cup place after this match.”
When Austria host Serbia in Vienna, Newcastle fans will be keeping their eyes on the striker, as he hopes to impress in order for a return to the starting XI for his club.