Allan Saint-Maximin reveals what he told Newcastle United's physios
Allan Saint-Maximin says it was his plan all along to be on the pitch in the very last minute – after making his comeback from injury.
Saint-Maximin set up Newcastle United’s 94th-minute winner against Chelsea on Saturday.
The winger, making his first appearance since suffering a hamstring injury in early December, delivered the ball into the box which was headed home by Isaac Hayden to give the team a hard-fought 1-0 win.
"It's a great result against a big team,” said Saint-Maximin. “We had to defend a lot.
“I've been out for a month – it wasn't easy – and I've worked hard to get back and ready for this game. I'm really happy to play the full 90 minutes, and, in the end, give a good assist for the goal.”
Saint-Maximin, signed from Nice for £16.5million last summer, “aimed” to stay on the pitch until the final whistle.
"I had to be careful with my hamstring, and not do anything stupid,” he said. “I always knew I could stay on the pitch until the end. Normally, this is a four-week injury, but I said to the physios that this was the game I wanted to be ready for.
“My aim was to last the whole game, I knew I could do it and it's what we planned.”
Saint-Maximin hadn’t seen much of the ball in normal time given Chelsea’s dominance at St James’s Park.
"We had to do a lot of running,” said Saint-Maximin. “It wasn't easy for the forwards, and we didn't see a lot of the ball. I had to run a lot and close down.”
Newcastle have only won one Premier League game without Saint-Maximin, signed last summer from Nice, this season.
"’Everyone tells me I'm lucky for this team,” said the 23-year-old. “When I'm on the pitch, the team tends to win a lot. I don't really think of it that way. I'm just happy when I don't lose games.”
Saint-Maximin is now settled on Tyneside following his move from France. He said: “I'm enjoying myself here – and I enjoyed the roar of the fans at the end.”