Newcastle made it 7 points in 8 days today with a gutsy 2-1 win over Southampton at St James’ Park, but it looks like it’s come at a cost.
Not only has Steve Bruce confirmed that Allan Saint-Maximin ‘could be out for weeks’ after pulling up late on, it’s also emerged that Ciaran Clark was forced off at half-time with a calf injury.
Here’s what Bruce has had to say about Saint-Maximin, revealing his post-match regret given he very nearly rested the ‘fatigued’ Frenchman:
“I nearly left him out today – and, now, I wish I had done because he could be out for weeks. I’m disappointed with myself.”
“We don’t know how serious it is. I kick myself if he is out for a long time. The way he pulled up – let’s hope it’s not too serious.
“He is that maverick free spirit we have to manage. He wanted to play, to be fair to him.”
“That’s what happens when you play with fatigue. Allan has never had that before – in France, it’s half the intensity of here. Looking at him yesterday, he was the big one, and could he recover? I know it’s 95th minute but, obviously, he didn’t.”
So, not only is Saint-Maximin at risk of missing the busy festive period, with him appearing to have tweaked a hamstring in the 95th minute, it looks like in-form centre-back Ciaran Clark has also suffered a muscle injury.
We’re not short on options in defence, with Fabian Schar back and Lejeune close to completing a comeback, however losing Saint-Maximin for any length of time would be a huge blow.
A great win today, but making just one change a few days on from a gruelling effort at Sheffield appears to have cost us.