Allan Saint-Maximin says he’s getting back into his stride at Newcastle United – and he hopes that he’s put his injury problems behind him.
The winger scored a dramatic extra-time winner in last week’s 3-2 FA Cup win over Oxford United. Saint-Maximin netted in the 116th minute at the Kassam Stadium to book the club a place in the competition’s fifth round for the first time in 14 years.
However, the 22-year-old, signed from Nice last summer, has had two spells out with hamstring problems so far this season.
And Saint-Maximin’s hopeful that he can steer clear of injury as Newcastle, 12th in the Premier League ahead of Sunday’s game against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium, look to fight on two fronts.
“I feel much better,” said Saint-Maximin. “I’ve been injured two times. You know hamstrings are really difficult, because I use my pace to run.
“I run a lot, strong sprints, and I have to be careful. I keep going, I keep working, and now I feel much better. I’m happy to score for my team. Everybody knows it was an important game.”
“It’s really important for me, because I can have a little bit more time for recovery,” said Saint-Maximin. “I can work a lot on my hamstring, so I can be really ready against Arsenal.”
The Oxford strike was Saint-Maximin’s second for the club, which paid £16.5million for his services. Saint-Maximin, however, wants to be judged on more than just his goal return.
Newcastle have a far greater win percentage with the Paris-born player, with the team having won just once without him this season.
“What I always say to the trainer and my partners is ‘I’m happy if we win’,” said Saint-Maximin.
“Even if sometimes I don’t score, but the team wins, I’m really happy. This is more important to me than goals. When I’m on the pitch, the team tends to win a lot so that makes me happy.”