The night Allan Saint-Maximin looked back to 'somewhere we know' for Newcastle United

Newcastle United player Allan Saint-Maximin scored a late, late goal in the 3-2 against Oxford United in the FA Cup fourth-round replay earlier this month

Arsenal journalist reveals how Newcastle can exploit Gunners' defence

Allan Saint-Maximin 'looked as if he was back to somewhere we know' against Oxford United and Steve Bruce hopes Newcastle United's talisman can cause Arsenal problems after putting his injury issues behind him.

The Frenchman missed eight fixtures after a suffering a hamstring injury in December but stepped up with a crucial assist at the death on his return against Chelsea last month.

Despite that contribution, Saint-Maximin was not quite at his explosive best in that game or recent home draws against Norwich City and Oxford as he got back up to speed following six weeks out.

However, the 22-year-old went on to score a stunning winning goal in the FA Cup fourth-round replay at Oxford last week to spare his side the lottery of a penalty shootout.

Newcastle have won just one league game without Saint-Maximin in the starting line-up this season and Bruce hopes the forward can help inspire his side to a victory against Arsenal on Sunday.

"I hope so. We're going there and the one thing we are is resilient and difficult to play against and difficult to beat and you have to be all of those things and I've said many times, it's OK playing that way but we have to cause a threat the other way, too," he told reporters at his pre-match press conference.

"The goal can only do Allan the world of good. He looked as if he was back to somewhere we know after a horrible injury for him as well so let's hope we can cause them a few problems."

Newcastle have only won once at the Emirates but have already taken points off Spurs, Manchester United, Sheffield United, Man City and Chelsea this season.
Isaac Hayden celebrates after scoring a late winner against Chelsea

The Magpies, who currently lie in 12th place in the table, could leapfrog Arsenal with a victory in North London so what has Bruce made of the season so far?

"I think we've done OK. We've had huge problems over the last six weeks and fair play to the squad for showing that resilience that they've shown in many, many games," he said.

"It can't be a fluke - not over 25 games anyway - that they have a certain resilience, a certain pride about them, which is there and pretty evident every day they train and play.

"They are a good set. They roll up their sleeves and make sure they have a go and when you've got a team like that, then you've always got a chance."

Bruce's first game in charge of Newcastle was the corresponding fixture at St James' Park on the opening weekend of the season, which the Magpies lost 1-0 at St James' Park.

Arsenal have since changed manager - Mikel Arteta replacing Unai Emery - and while Bruce certainly did not think his side would be level on points with the Gunners, having won two games more, he hopes his side can use that as a platform for the final 13 games of the season.

"I think the closer we get towards the magical points tally then we can maybe have a look but until we get there and I'm sure there's still 10 clubs looking over shoulder and we have to be one of them," he added.

"We're not blasé enough to say we've done enough. We haven't just yet. We've still got a third of the season to go so it's all to play for."