'I'm in pain': Allan Saint-Maximin reacts to his brilliant and bruising Newcastle United comeback
Allan Saint-Maxmin left St James’s Park with an ice pack on his ankle – after a red-hot performance on the pitch.
The winger had returned from a lay-off with an ankle problem, and he will now rest up and get treatment over the two-week international break ahead of the October 17 home game against Manchester United.
"I’m in pain, but that’s the Premier League,” said Saint-Maximin. “You get some kicks, and you have to keep going and keep working. I’m happy now, because I have the break. I have two weeks to be ready for Man U.”
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Steve Bruce was unhappy that some of the challenges on Saint-Maximin weren’t penalised with yellow cards by referee David Coote.
“I couldn’t believe there wasn’t a yellow card,” said United’s head coach. “We need to protect him a bit.
"The way he plays, he’s going to draw a foul. We’ve got to keep him right physically, and that’s not easy because of the way he plays. He’s all pace and power. He’s a match-winner.”
Maximin’s first goal came from a long Karl Darlow kick forward which was chested to him by Callum Wilson.
The 23-year-old ran towards the box – and Burnley backed off. Surrounded by five visiting players, he squeezed the ball between Nick Pope and the right-hand post.“I see a lot of players in front of me, and I try to do some dribbling, because it’s the way I play,” said Saint-Maximin, signed last year from Nice for £16.5million. “I’m really happy to score this goal for my team."
Saint-Maximin accelerated past Charlie Taylor after Burnley levelled, and bent a superb low cross round the back for Wilson to tap in.
Wilson converted a late penalty won by substitute Ryan Fraser for United’s third goal, and the result was all-important for Saint-Maximin.
“I try to do my best for my team,” Saint-Maximin told Sky Sports. “It was really important to win this game. I’m really happy to win this game before the break to give my team more confidence.
"I don’t like to do things when the team loses, even if it’s good for my statistics. I prefer to do my best when we win. I’m really happy with this assist for Callum to make it 2-1. It was a perfect night tonight.”
Newcastle struggled to win without Saint-Maximin last season, and his performance underlined his importance to Bruce’s team.
Keeping him fit is a priority for Bruce and his staff.
"His ankle is obviously sore he took a nasty kick on it,” said Bruce. “It’s been a difficult period for Allan in terms of fitness levels and getting it right. It’s like that for a lot of the players like him who rely on pace and power.
"But We’ve seen the value to him when he’s on the pitch. His goal and the assist for the second one, there’s probably only Allan on the pitch who could do that.”