Belfast Telegraph

Benitez tips Mitrovic to fire Newcastle out of danger

Rafael Benitez is backing Aleksandar Mitrovic to blast Newcastle out of relegation trouble after watching him drag them back from the brink of a derby disaster.

The Serbian's 83rd-minute header cancelled out Jermain Defoe's opener and secured a 1-1 draw with Sunderland at St James' Park, although with both sides desperately needing victories to lever themselves out of the Premier League drop zone, celebrations were muted.

Newcastle remain in 19th, one place and a single point behind their neighbours with eight games to play, but three points adrift of safety.

It was just the £14.5m striker's sixth goal since he joined last summer, but Benitez is confident Mitrovic can score more if he is given the right kind of service.

He said: "He has the potential. We have to help him with better deliveries and support, but he will score goals if we can do that.

"We are creating chances, attacking and can be there, so we have to improve and create more chances and Mitrovic or the other strikers will score more and we'll be fine."

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