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McClaren backs Mitrovic to make positive return

Aleksandar Mitrovic will return to Newcastle United's squad for Saturday's Premier League match against Chelsea, manager Steve McClaren has confirmed.

The 21-year-old striker has missed Newcastle's last three matches due to his dismissal for a rash challenge on Arsenal's Francis Coquelin.

Arsenal won that game 1-0 - the first of four straight defeats for Newcastle - and McClaren will bring Mitrovic straight back into his squad in a hope of ending their losing streak at home versus Chelsea.

McClaren hopes a few extra weeks to acclimatise to England will see former Anderlecht forward Mitrovic make more of a positive impact on the pitch.

"There's been a lot of criticism of players coming in but this is the Premier League, and they have time to adjust. It takes time," the manager told the Evening Chronicle.

"Mitro will come back in on Saturday."

While Mitrovic's fighting qualities have so far let him down since his move from Anderlecht, McClaren rates the Serb as a winner - an important quality for the former England boss.

"He [Mitrovic] has showed enough spirit, fight and will to win. Probably overly!" he added.

"He's demonstrated that and he's showed that in training. We expect high things of him."