Mitrovic up for a battle

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Any defenders looking to bully Newcastle United new boy Aleksandar Mitrovic have been warned "I will kick them back".

Aleksandar Mitrovic has warned Premier League defenders he is ready to give as good as he gets physically in his first season at Newcastle United.

Mitrovic arrived at St James' Park from Anderlecht last month and is expected to offer a combative presence in attack for his new club - with head coach Steve McClaren suggesting the Serbia international has a "bit of devil" in him.

"You want to score in every game and to fight hard," said the 20-year-old.

"Premier League defenders are going to kick me from the first minute. And, of course, I will kick them back. This is normal for me.

"They will know all about me. I like getting stuck in. I play a good physical game.

"Yes, I have picked up a few scars during games. It proves I am prepared to go in where it hurts. If it means I will score a goal, I will put my head anywhere."

Mitrovic is confident he can adapt to the Premier League.

"I'm a typical number nine; always in the box, strong, good in the air," he added.

"English football is faster and stronger than in Belgium. It will maybe take a bit more running than I'm used to but everyday I'm getting in better shape. I think it will suit me."

McClaren, meanwhile, has underlined his determination to hold on to midfielder Moussa Sissoko.

Speaking on a BBC Newcastle phone-in, the former Derby boss said: "We cannot lose Moussa, I know there's a lot of interest but he's under contract.

"On my first day he walked into my office, a specimen of a man. An absolute presence and a great manner. Very professional and low maintenance.

"I've said to [Newcastle's managing director] Lee Charnley, 'Wow, we've got to keep this guy'.

"I want to build a team around him."