Steve McClaren claims Aleksandar Mitrovic is thriving at Fulham after leaving Newcastle on loan because of his links to current manager Slavisa Jokanovic.
The Serbian was brought to St. James' Park by McClaren in 2015 during his time as Magpies boss, but since then Mitrovic has found it difficult to nail down a first team spot in the Newcastle side.
Despite being a fan favourite at Newcastle, Mitrovic found chances very hard to come by when Rafa Benitez joined the club in 2016. The Spaniard appeared to favour Dwight Gayle and Joselu over Mitrovic.
However, since he was allowed to leave Newcastle on loan in January to join Championship outfit Fulham, Mitrovic has been on fire. He has scored seven goals in seven starts for the in form side and is loving life under Jokanovic - who also hails from Serbia.
Former England and Newcastle manager McClaren believes this is a big reason behind Mitrovic's recent form, and he told Chronicle Live: ''He came in as a young boy at Newcastle, he needs to be loved, needs to be believed in, trusted.
''I think Jokanovic, being Serbian, I think they’ve got that connection and once you get the best out of him, he’s not only a good player outside the box, bringing other players into it, he scores goals.''
Fulham are currently the Championship's form side having won five of their last six outings. This has been massively down to the fine form of Mitrovic and the West London club now sit third in the league.
Rafa Benitez recently revealed his end of season plans for the Serbian.