Newcastle United mock birthday boy Aleksandar Mitrovic with cards quip
Newcastle striker Aleksandar Mitrovic celebrated his 21st birthday on Wednesday - with the help of a cheeky message from his employers.
The Serbia international was cooling his heels as the Magpies went down 2-0 in the Barclays Premier League at West Ham on Monday evening, having started a three-match ban following his sending-off against Arsenal on August 29.
Mitrovic had already been booked in each of his first two appearances for the club and received another yellow card during Serbia's 2-0 Euro 2016 qualifying victory over Armenia on September 4, a remarkable return from six games to date this season.
And acknowledging the player's birthday on their official Twitter account, Newcastle said: "Happy 21st birthday to Aleksandar Mitrovic! He's had lots of cards... #NUFC"
Mitrovic, a £13million summer signing from Belgian club Anderlecht, will also miss Saturday's home game against Watford and the Capital One Cup third round tie against Sheffield Wednesday which follows, with his club having failed to score a single league goal since a 2-2 draw with Southampton on the opening weekend of the season.
Head coach Steve McClaren has admitted the player will have to rein himself in if he is to prosper in English football after earlier insisting he could not lose the "devil" from his game.
McClaren said last week: " Absolutely we've got to revise our approach. We've spoken a lot and I think it's the over-enthusiasm and wanting to do so well. From day one, that's what we've seen.
"From day one, we've said, 'Don't work so hard' He wants to work day and night. He says, 'I just want to do well, I just want to score my first goal, I just want to show the fans what I can do', and that over-enthusiasm has led to him getting a reputation in such a short time.
"His first goal doesn't have to be spectacular, but it will come. We've told him not to force it, which is I think something he's been doing. He's been getting himself in trouble."