McClaren excited by Newcastle front pairing of Mitrovic and Perez

Newcastle striker Aleksandar Mitrovic
Newcastle striker Aleksandar Mitrovic
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Aleksandar Mitrovic and Ayoze Perez are developing a “telepathic” partnership up front for Newcastle United, according to Steve McClaren.

The pair have scored five Premier League goals between them so far this season.

Mitrovic had a hand in Perez’s winner against Bournemouth nine days ago, when Newcastle’s 1-0 success at the Vitality Stadium saw the club climb out of the Premier League’s relegation zone.

And head coach McClaren – whose side take on Leicester City at St James’s Park this Saturday – feels Mitrovic and Perez dovetail well into his attack.

Powerful summer signing Mitrovic – who is comfortable with his back to goal – is able to win aerial duels, hold the ball up and bring the pacy Perez into play.

McClaren said: “I think they’ve made a good combination, haven’t they?

“I think you can see it with Mitrovic and Perez – you can see that team cohesion.

“That’s what we’ve been doing; looking to give everybody opportunities and chopping and changing with the line-up.

“We kind of, you can see a bit of telepathy between Mitro and Ayoze. You can see that.

“Mitro’s come in and he’s been a bit of a target for us. He can get better though, without a shadow of a doubt.

“I think, at the moment, he just lacks maturity, which I think will come with playing for us and in time.”

McClaren is looking for pairs and partnership all over the pitch as he hones his strongest Newcastle starting XI.

“We’re looking at who matches who, who can play with who, what combinations work,” he added.

“We’ve got that with Daryl (Janmaat) and Moussa (Sissoko) down the right.

“We kind of had that with Vurnon (Anita) and Jack (Colback) a little bit in the middle, now Cheicky (Cheick Tiote) has come in which he has had to do. He’s growing and developing there.

“Then you’ve got Gini (Wijnaldum) as well with Ayoze – they like each other as well.”

l Newcastle Under-18s are away to Manchester United tonight (7pm kick-off) in the Barclays U18 Premier League’s Northern Division.

Second-bottom Newcastle, who have won just three of their 13 games so far, will move above their opponents if they win at the J. Davidson Stadium in Altrincham.