Returning Newcastle star Isaac Hayden made a massive difference on Friday night.
The midfielder showed what we have been missing with his absence and often it is only when a player is out of action that you appreciate what they give you.
His energy and drive were superb against Leeds and I lost count of the number of times he won the ball/broke down play with perfectly timed tackles.
It was also no coincidence that Jonjo Shelvey had his best game for absolute ages, with Isaac Hayden alongside him he had far more scope to get forward into dangerous areas and try to force the win.
Isaac Hayden himself is far more than a defensive midfielder and I feel he is really at his best when he also gets forward, for a tall player he is excellent on the ball when dribbling into dangerous areas.
If there is one criticism of him, it is that with one goal and three assists this season, he really should be getting a far higher return with his promise/ability.
Hopefully though another player we can add to the list of players good enough if we get promoted to the Premier League.
Isaac Hayden speaking to the Sunday Sun:
“We played much better than we have done in the last few weeks, which is definitely encouraging, but it was deflating to lose the goal like we did.
“That is football and we will look back at the replays and see where we can do better.
“I thought we were unlucky especially with a few decisions that didn’t go our way – it seems to be a recurring thing with us.
“That’s just the way it is and we have to focus on ourselves, make sure that in the last four games we get maximum points.
“I thought the fans were amazing and they were with us every step of the way.
“When they were pushing in the first half they really made us feel the energy of the crowd and that transferred itself on to the pitch.
“I thought we were better than we have been in recent weeks and we created a lot of chances against Leeds.
“If we are being a bit critical of ourselves we should have killed the game off with the chances we had.
“But it wasn’t to be and now Monday is a massive game and we have to make sure we recover and are mentally right for that one.”