Newcastle midfielder Isaac Hayden says he was always confident of getting his chance with England, as he knew Gareth Southgate was regularly watching him play.
This week Hayden got his chance, playing for England Under 21s as they demolished Bosnia & Herzegovina 5-0.
Gareth Southgate of course has now also taken charge of the senior team, at least for the time being, but at least the NUFC young star has got on the first rung of the international ladder.
After impressing for Hull last year as they got promoted, Isaac Hayden is hoping to do the same with Newcastle following the signing of a permanent contract at St James Park, after NUFC bought him from Arsenal.
At club level, Hayden has built up an ever improving partnership with Jonjo Shelvey.
It was only last Autumn when Shelvey was turning out for the senior England team and playing against France & Spain, the former Swansea and Liverpool player is in great form this season and will be wondering if he also can catch the eye of Gareth Southgate, despite playing now in the second tier.
Isaac Hayden talking to the club’s official TV channel:
“I knew it was always going to come, I have always been in contact with Gareth Southgate and he’s always been watching my games throughout last year and this year so I knew if I was fit and I was playing games for Newcastle it was a matter of time really.
“I’m just glad to get it out of the way now and hopefully I can come back here now and start progressing with my career here, playing more games and helping the team.
“By doing that, that will get me in the next squad and hopefully I can get more caps.
“It was a great experience and I think every time we go away as a group we’re building and getting stronger so hopefully next summer we’ll be ready and raring to go.
“It was a fairly convincing performance, I would say professional is the right word.
“In the first five minutes, they came at us quite quickly but we rode the storm really well and then we started to play our football, get on the ball and started passing it.
“Once the first goal went in, it was just a matter of how many we were going to get really.
“It was a good debut. It’s been a long time coming – I got selected last year but pulled out through injury.
“I missed the Toulon Tournament because of the play-offs with Hull, so it was good to finally get in the squad during the first international break (September 2016).
“I didn’t manage to play but then finally got my chance this time and hopefully I took it.”