This 'incredible' Allan Saint-Maximin statistic shows what Newcastle United will miss
Steve Bruce must quickly find a way for Newcastle United to win – without the fastest player at the club.
Bruce expects to be without Allan Saint-Maximin for more than a month.
The winger damaged his hamstring sprinting at 36.76 kilometres per hour – almost 23 miles per hour – late in last weekend’s 2-1 win over Southampton at St James’s Park.
Saint-Maximin helped Newcastle climb the Premier League table after returning from his previous hamstring injury, and Bruce must make sure that the 11th-placed club doesn’t lose forward momentum without him – and his “lightning pace”.
“We all know he’s got lightning pace,” said head coach Bruce, speaking ahead of this afternoon’s game against Burnley at Turf Moor. “He’s sometimes as quick with it (the ball).
“He’s got such a low centre of gravity, he does things in training which you can’t coach. We will miss him. He’s been terrific.”
Saint-Maximin was chasing an injury-time ball upfield when he pulled up.
“He ran 30, 40, 50 yards to chase it,” said Bruce. “It was proper sprinting. The stats you get are incredible. It would take you hours to sift through them. The big ones, the ones we look at constantly, are physical ones, the distances they cover, how quick, the sprint distances they do. They’re vitally important. It’s what we gear training towards.”
Asked about the extent of the hamstring tear, Bruce added: “It’s listed as a Grade Two. The last time, a bit similar, was four or five weeks.”
Bruce – who could recall Andy Carroll to United’s starting XI and switch striker Joelinton to the left – was “kicking himself” after Saint-Maximin limped off.
“A football player can play every day of the week, no problem,” said Bruce.
“They train every day of the week. However, they can't play with that intensity, and once they're fatigued, then you do run the risk. There was no sign of Allan being really fatigued – that's the big thing. In the past, I've seen it.
“We put him up the top end of the pitch alongside Andy, and it seemed to rejuvenate him a little bit. Look, we'll kick ourselves, but, unfortunately, these things happen.”