Newcastle United boss Rafael Benitez has hit back at Aleksandar Mitrovic's criticism over the Magpies style of play under the Spanish manager.

The striker was quoted as saying the North East side were “too tactical” for him last season and that Fulham played “attacking football” which suits his style.

Mitrovic has certainly taken to his environment with five goals in his last four games but Benitez defended his own team's creditials when asked if he was pleased for the forward.

Arsenal legend says Newcastle United man is 'miles too good for the Championship' and backs Fulham for Premier League return

He said: “Yeah, but two things. One is Mitrovic is scoring goals in the Championship and I’m really pleased for him. As I’ve said before, I hope he scores 20 goals. That will be much better for him and for us. But it’s a question that we have to ask in May.

“The other thing, we were the best team in the Championship, so I don’t want people to have the wrong idea.

“We were the best in the Championship. We scored more goals than anyone - 85, like Fulham and Norwich. We conceded less goals than anyone - 40 like Brighton - so we were the best team.

“We won the title, we had more shots on target than anyone, so we were attacking, we were second for crosses, so we were attacking and crossing.

“Our style of football was very offensive and we had one key player - and that was Dwight Gayle. He scored 23 goals even when he was two months without playing. Even Daryl Murphy scored six goals.

“When we talk about that we cannot forget that we were the best team in the Championship, an attacking team, creating a lot of chances, with balance in terms of attack and defence - that is the reason why we won.

“And then that is one thing. Also I have to make my decisions, the team was doing really well and we have some players.

“You go in January, you have the World Cup and then the chances are there and now Mitro is doing well in the Championship, fine, perfect.

“Hopefully he can score 20 goals, that would be good for everyone. That is the headline if you want. It's good for him and for us, and that’s it.”

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