Newcastle forward Saint-Maximin paid the price for pace – Bruce
Newcastle frontman Allan Saint-Maximin was sprinting at almost 37kmph when he suffered the hamstring tear which is likely to sideline him for a month.
Magpies head coach Steve Bruce has revealed the statistics show the pacy 22-year-old Frenchman clocked 36.8kmph – or 22.87mph – in the dying seconds of Sunday’s 2-1 Premier League victory over Southampton, the fastest speed recorded by a Newcastle player.
Bruce said: “He pulled his hamstring doing 36.8kmph in the 96th minute – I don’t think anybody has run that fast (for Newcastle) in the Premier League ever before, so what can you do? He ran 30, 40, 50 yards to chase it. It was proper sprinting. In the 96th minute.
“It’s what we always say: a football player can play every day of the week no problem, 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.
“Look, we’ll kick ourselves, but unfortunately, these things happen.”
Saint-Maximin has been a key figure in Newcastle’s recent improvement having played his part in a 2-2 draw with champions Manchester City and the back-to-back wins over Sheffield United and the Saints which have followed it.
However, he will play no part at Burnley on Saturday and is expected to be missing until the new year with a grade-two tear, and that has come as a huge blow to both the player and the club.
Bruce said: “We all know he’s got lightning pace. He’s sometimes quick with it (the ball), which is the hardest of the lot.
“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. However, it is what it is.
“He is a maverick and was playing very well. He knew that, all of a sudden, he was becoming a bit of a favourite. But it’s someone else’s opportunity.”
Saint-Maximin’s misfortune will force Bruce into a reshuffle which could see Andy Carroll start at Turf Moor and perhaps mean struggling fellow striker Joelinton switches to the wider role he occupied at previous club Hoffenheim.
“It’s an option,” admitted Bruce, who has injury doubts over Jonjo Shelvey and Miguel Almiron.