When you are in the bottom three after more than four months of the season has passed, most people would agree you are in a relegation battle, but not Isaac Hayden.

Despite picking up only one point from the last ten matches, the midfielder insists that ‘you can’t be talking about relegation battles now’.

You do obviously have to keep a positive attitude but only two topics are occupying the minds of Newcastle fans at the minute – will they at last get rid of Mike Ashley and are the club going to make an instant return to the Championship.

Our poll result yesterday saw 2,402 Newcastle fans respond, with just over 60% believing that relegation is more likely than survival.

With four of the next five matches against other relegation strugglers, there is the chance for a quick upward turn, with West Ham, Swansea, Stoke and Brighton to be faced by 5pm on Saturday 13 January.

However, Isaac Hayden is surely getting a little bit carried away when he claims ‘Apart from the top six it’s anyone’s game really’.

Newcastle’s four wins have all come against clubs currently in the bottom seven. Whilst they have played 12 matches against clubs in the top 13 and have lost 10 and drawn two.

Newcastle supporters all expected a relegation battle was all but certain after there wasn’t proper investment in the squad this summer and when you are 18th with 15 points from 18 matches, you are most definitely in a relegation battle.

The team played ok on Saturday but in reality it was only the very final stages when Gayle and Ritchie came on, that Newcastle seriously threatened, as Arsenal became lax.

With more or less a full squad to choose from now and ‘winnable’ games ahead, it could be make or break for Newcastle in the coming weeks.

Isaac Hayden:

“There are 20 games left and you can’t be talking about relegation battles now, there is so much more football to play.

“Apart from the top six it’s anyone’s game really.

“We will try our best to get as high as we can. If we play like we did (on Saturday), we’ll have a lot more opportunities to get points in the future.”

“The game was decided on one bit of world-class quality, a great finish and it ended up deciding the game. We were toe-to-toe with them in the second half, we could have nicked something if we were a bit luckier.

“There’s a lot to be positive about after that performance, especially playing at the Emirates. It’s a tough place to come. They keep the ball really well and make you run and work, I thought we did that really well.

“We closed a lot of the lines and limited them to few clear cut chances. Second half, we matched them. We could have nicked something had we been a bit more clinical.

“When you play against Arsenal away, they’re going to limit you to less chances. You’re running, closing gaps and defending for long periods of time.

“When you do get the ball, you have to use it really well. They press high up the pitch and get the ball back as quickly as possible. We had to be very patient when we did get the ball. I thought we did that quite well, but you want points, and we didn’t get any.

“It was nice to play against them, but I just wanted to try and get some points for the club. It’s a very difficult stage at the moment, and it’s frustrating not to get a point.

“We can only keep working and keep doing what we’ve been doing in training and keep listening to the manager. If we play like that for the rest of the season against the lesser teams, if you call it that, I think we will be OK.”

  • Leicester Mag

    We saw similar tub thumping from goon extraordinaire Taylor in the past. 1 point out of 27 sadly tells a different story. Unless Ashley leaves in January we will go down again. Get the bar steward out.

  • superalansuddick


  • Paul Patterson

    Start winning games then..

  • Peaky Magpie

    Same “lost the plot” pills as Rafa.

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      So, a Pack of Peaky Ferrets didn`t get you

      • Peaky Magpie


      • Peaky Magpie

        Flying visit back in NE over weekend visiting annoying in laws so I suppose that’s worse than those bloody ferrets !!!

  • BillytheFish

    In the bottom 3 after Xmas, and you are in it up to your ears….

  • Hughie_Gallacher

    Someone tweeted yesterday that, if you assume Newcastle will lose all their games against the current top 6, they will need to win their home games and draw their away games to reach 40 points. Is that likely?

  • Toon

    What you would prefer him to say?! we are useless and defs going down? you’d all cry your eyes out if he did! your poll yesterday was just ridiculous (and typically The Mag) attention seeking, what do you expect the results to be after our recent form and fall into the bottom 3? the fact 40% believe we’ll stay up in the present climate is more interesting, despite the recent form nearly half are confident of survival.

  • Steve Smith

    Everyone in the bottom half of the table is in a relegation battle.

  • 1957

    With 20 games to go he will almost certainly get enough yellow cards for a 2 match suspension, maybe even before new year and must be in with a chance of a three match ban for accumulating 15 yellows in the season.

    He is as much a liability as Shelvey or Mitrovic in terms of discipline, a yellow card almost every 2 games isn’t sustainable.

    I would say he’s in denial, despite our lowly position he’s simply not facing up to the fact we are in a group of teams who could conceivably go down…it’s a dangerous attitude to have.