The tale of Yoan Gouffran is building up to be one of the stories of the season already.
After being in the wilderness for so long and becoming a bit of a joke figure amongst the fans, the former Bordeaux player is now looking a little like the player who made such a positive impact when first arriving at St James Park in January 2013.
Rafa gave him his chance against Reading and he has stayed in the Championship starting eleven ever since.
Looking busy in his first couple of games he has no added a goal threat as confidence returns, crashing a superb long-range effort against the crossbar during the 2-0 win over Brighton, then Saturday’s volley which showed great technique and basically won the game for United.
The reaction from Yoan Gouffran after the game was low key, saying that the goal was ‘a nice one’ but maybe not his best ever.
Summing up the team spirit flowing through the squad, Gouffran says that when sitting on the bench he and the other subs are rooting for the team like a fan.
The Frenchman also extended that team effort to the fans, emphasising the backing the sold out 3,200 away section gave from the very start of the game, helping to produce a great ‘fighting spirit’.
Yoan Gouffran talking to NUFC TV:
“All of the team worked very hard tonight and we deserved the win, everybody was good and I think we played well.”
‘Your first goal in 18 months (Jan 2015 v Hull – 20 months ago) or so, was it worth the wait?’
“Yes, it is a long time but I didn’t play a lot.
“Now I enjoy it to play again and to score a goal is good.”
‘What went through your mind when the ball dropped?’
“First of all I wanted to block the defender for Jamaal (Lascelles) and I was alone, so I took my chance and I scored.
“Sometimes we work on it (corner kick routine) at the training ground with the Manager and tonight we did it.
“I hope we win again on Tuesday (away at QPR) and we are promoted at the end of the season.
“I thought I was out last year because I didn’t play much, every game I play now I enjoy it.
“It’s hard to be a sub but you enjoy the game like a fan, it’s like you see a position and you want something…it’s hard to stay on the bench.
“You have to support your teammates and I am happy because we scored again, it is very good because the guys from the bench gave everything when they came on (Yedlin scored after replacing Yoan Gouffran in 73rd minute).
“Before the game the supporters they cheer the team that is starting, so I think we get a good fighting spirit, everybody fights for each other.”