Newcastle United manager Steve McClaren has no plans to try and curb Aleksandar Mitrovic’s aggression, but urged the striker to learn to control his emotions.
Mitrovic, who moved to St James’ Park on a five-year deal last month, has started life in the Premier League with two yellow cards in as many substitute appearances.
The 20-year-old was booked less than two minutes after coming off the bench in Saturday’s 2-0 defeat to Swansea City, which marked an improvement on the 11 seconds it took him to earn a caution in Newcastle’s league-opening 2-2 draw against Southampton.
McClaren fears that Mitrovic will become a target for referees, but feels it would affect the former Anderlecht player’s game to rein in his combative style.
“I’ve had a lot of these type of players during my career and we should not take that aggression, that emotion away from the game,” McClaren said.
“Just don’t do it. For example, Diego Costa at Chelsea – it’s the same.
“I’ve worked with those players and to curb it you take 50 per cent of their game away. You have to live with them. Mitrovic is a young man but he needs to control that and be smart with referees and opponents.
“But he’s just showing his enthusiasm, his will to win and wanting to play.
“It’s only two games he has been with us. The nature of the game is changing. He has to adapt and keep his emotions under control. We all have to do that. We learned that here.
“There’s no point looking at the reasons, he did what he did. I think we’ve just got to learn to be a little bit smarter in our play.”
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