Rafa Hails The Guy Who Has Given Him A Problem!

Last updated : 30 October 2016 By Footy Mad - Editor

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Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez says striker Aleksandar Mitrovic has given him a selection dilemma after the Serb scored twice in a 2-1 victory at Preston.

But two second-half goals rendered Jermaine Beckford's late effort for Preston a mere consolation.

Mitrovic's double followed two goals against the same opposition in the EFL Cup fourth round in midweek and Benitez admits he now has a tough call to make when Gayle returns to full fitness.

The former Real Madrid boss said: "Mitrovic has given me a very good problem to have. We are really pleased because the team is growing.

"We can see the team spirit growing and that is the main thing if you want to be strong.

"I am really pleased with the team because we are doing so well away from home.

"We showed great character, we made mistakes, but in the whole game we defended well and played the counter-attack we wanted to play.

"We knew that it would be a tough game, they have beaten some good teams. So we were ready for that and we've been working hard on defence. In the first half we had to defend.

"In the second half we were much better. We had more space, more possibilities to counter attack and I think we did well.

"They were pushing and pushing and we were defending and, in the end, the main thing was to get three points and we did it.

"We did well to withstand their pressure and we used our quality to make the difference."

Preston stood toe-to-toe with Newcastle until Mitrovic put them firmly in control.

But the visitors were made to withstand heavy pressure and might have had the chance to snatch a point at the death when Grant Hanley appeared to bring down Beckford inside the box.

Hanley had been a late replacement for defender DeAndre Yedlin, who appeared to be hit by an object thrown from the crowd.

Preston boss Simon Grayson added: "You don't like to see anything like that in any football match.

"Hopefully we can deal with it in the manner it deserves to be dealt with."