Rafa Benitez always says that players who are out of the team simply have to keep working hard and wait for their chance, then give it their all when they get the opportunity, he certainly got that from Isaac Hayden at Oakwell.
The former Arsenal midfielder had been left out of the wins against Norwich, Rotherham and Brentford but showed great attitude, commitment and ability as he slotted back in alongside Jonjo Shelvey, which allowed Newcastle to dominate the middle of the pitch.
After being left out, Isaac Hayden says you just have to take it in the right way and get on with it: ‘I didn’t play for a couple of games, he (Rafa Benitez) spoke to me about it and that’s life, that’s football’.
The Newcastle player adding:’If the manager sees fit to play somebody else, then I can’t really argue with that’.
As for last night’s win, Isaac Hayden believes that it simply confirms this Newcastle team/squad’s ability to adapt to the conditions/opposition.
Whereas Brentford were beaten thanks in the main to better football, the midfielder believes that winning the physical battle against Barnsley was the key to the win.
“It was a different type of game tonight – it wasn’t your nice, one or two touch passing football…but this is the Championship, and there’s going to be games like this, and there’ll be games like Saturday (3-1 v Brentford), when I thought we passed the ball really well.
“It’s just about matching their work rate and having the battling qualities all over the pitch, which we had tonight, then eventually our quality will shine through, like it did.
“It wasn’t a great spectacle in terms of nice, intricate passing and good football but there’s different styles and different ways to play. Tonight, we just found a different style of play.
“But I thought we battled well as a team, and everyone worked really hard for each other. I think that it showed when we scored the goals – all the subs were celebrating with us as well, so it shows that there’s a great unity in the group and everyone’s pulling in the right direction.
“Sometimes, even in games where it’s more of a footballing game, you still have to battle and you still have to earn the right to play. I think that we did tonight – we did earn the right to play.
“There were some stages in the second half when we did get the ball on the floor and we did start to pass it a little bit more but in general they went long, so it was just about winning second balls and headers and then playing on from there, which I thought we did quite well over the duration of the game.
“The manager knows what he’s doing – he’s a very experienced manager and he’s been at the top of the game. It was one of those things – obviously I didn’t play for a couple of games, he spoke to me about it and that’s life, that’s football.
“You’re not going to be able to play every single game – there’s always going to be games when you might not be playing at your best or you might be a bit tired or whatever – but for me, I want to play every game and that’s what any footballer wants to do.
“If the manager sees fit to play somebody else, then I can’t really argue with that. It’s just about me when I do get the chance to play, then I have to give 100 per cent and make sure I give my best for the team.
“Everyone’s on board, and that’s what I think the main thing is at the moment at the football club – everybody is on board, and if anyone’s not playing, they’re not sulking. Everyone’s pulling in the right direction, and training really well and really hard.”
(For the instant fan/writer reaction to last night’s win go HERE)
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