​Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez believes that striker Aleksandar Mitrovic must learn how to deal with his aggression.


Mitrovic has earned a reputation as a fiery and confrontational player during his spell in England, and was substituted after scoring what turned out to be the winning goal against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday.


Wolves manager Paul Lambert had been furious with a challenge from Mitrovic on goalkeeper Carl Ikeme, and Benitez withdrew the 22-year-old because he feared the forward would get himself sent off.

Oxford United v Newcastle United - The Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round

“Yes, but I think we are talking about a young player – a foreign player – and a strong player that physically likes the contact," Benitez said when asked whether Mitrovic can be 'wound up' too easily, as quoted by the ​Shields Gazette.


“When you add all these things together, it’s clear that he still has to learn. He has to manage better the atmosphere, the pressure and the defenders. 


“But at the same time you could see the first yellow card. That was incredible. 


“How can you book someone for this foul that was not even a foul and forget about the foul that wasn’t given against them? 

Oxford United v Newcastle United - The Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round

“When you put everything together, you have to be sure that he will improve, but at the same time someone has to realise that it is not every time he goes and challenges that it is a foul. 


“The big centre-backs? He has to be allowed to fight with them.” 


Despite his reputation Mitrovic has only ever been sent off once for Newcastle since Benitez's appointment, seeing red against Tottenham last season, and the former Liverpool and Real Madrid boss believes he has seen an improvement in the Serbian's behaviour.

“He is improving, but it is difficult to have the control during the whole game when there’s one challenge, another challenge, and another challenge. 


“The only thing that you can do is to explain to him, watch the images with him, and try to be in the top of his head every time to be sure he understands what he has to do.”

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