Ayoze Perez says he was in “agony” when he scored Necastle United’s goal at the Amex Stadium – and couldn’t even celebrate the strike.
Perez made it five goals in three games with a stunning finish in Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Brighton and Hove Albion.
The forward, United’s leading Premier League scorer with 11 goals, was forced off later in the first half with a hip problem suffered early in the game.
Perez hopes to be fit for Saturday night’s game against Liverpool at St James’s Park.
“I’m in pain right now, and it’s very sore,” said Perez.
“I got a kick in the hip, and I couldn’t run any more. I tried to stay on the pitch but I wasn’t able to give 100%, so I left it for a team-mate to come in and take my place.
“Hopefully, in a couple of days I will be fit and ready for the next one.
“I hope it’s just bruising. It’s very painful at the moment. I couldn’t turn, I couldn’t sprint. I tried to chase one of their players and I just couldn’t do it. That was the moment I knew I had to go off.”
Perez even had to cut short his goal celebration.
“I couldn’t even celebrate the goal properly,” said the 25-year-old.
“To be fair, I tried to ignore the pain for two or three seconds, and just smash the ball in, but then straight after I was in agony and I told the guys while we were celebrating that I couldn’t stay on any longer. I wanted to, but I couldn’t.”
Newcastle dominated the first half, and Salomon Rondon chested a ball from Paul Dummett to Perez, who lashed it past Maty Ryan with his right foot.
The strike was cancelled out by a second-half goal from Pascal Gross.
“I’m really pleased with the goal, very happy to keep scoring goals for Newcastle, and it’s just a pity that I couldn’t stay on longer,” said Perez.
“It’s a lovely feeling at the moment, that feeling that I can score every time I play.
“It feels very sweet, very comfortable for me, and it feels like I’m playing some good football as well as scoring goals. A striker can’t ask for more than that.
“I guess this is the best run of form in my career.
“It’s been a great couple of weeks for me, scoring five goals, which is amazing, and it’s just a shame I couldn’t stay on the pitch for longer.
“But I’m looking forward to getting fit again and going again against Liverpool.”
On his understanding with Rondon, Perez said: “The goal is the best example of our understanding with each other.
“We try to find each other every time. We play the same football, we understand each other, we know where the other is and we try to find each other.
“It was a great assist from him this season, credit to him and I’m pleased it was a good finish as well. I’m happy with that.”
Perez’s previous best league goal tally for Newcastle was the eight he scored last season.
“It’s a great number of goals – the most for myself,” said the former Spain Under-21 international.
“I’ll keep trying to improve that number until the end of the season, and hopefully I’ll get a couple more.
“I’m just happy to feel how I feel and to keep playing and score goals.”
Perez is getting treatment on his hip ahead of the sold-out Liverpool game.
“I’m desperate to be fit for the Liverpool game,” said Perez.
“That’s in my mind right now, to get ready and fit for that game.
“Hopefully, it’s just a kick that can be helped with a bit of ice and some rest, and then I’ll be ready for it.”