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Isaac Hayden says Newcastle United need a change of mentality from Mike Ashley survival

4 weeks ago
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Isaac Hayden has done a big interview ahead of Sunday’s home game with Everton.

The midfielder having missed the Wolves match as an unused substitute after picking up a hamstring injury against Man Utd.

It remains to be seen whether Isaac Hayden will be able to start against Everton, with Hendrick, Almiron and Fraser having filled in as defensive midfielders at Molineux.

Hayden’s all-encompassing interview with The Athletic looks at the bigger picture.

Well worth a read as the lengthy piece covers all sorts about his Newcastle career – the past, present and most importantly, the future.

The family reasons that meant he looked sure to leave St James Park are now sorted and Isaac Hayden and his family now have their home on Tyneside.

So now it comes down to ambition.

Will Newcastle United under Mike Ashley tick the boxes for ambitious players?

Isaac Hayden thinks so much has to do with the mentality of the club has developed under this owner, where survival is seen as success.

Indeed, much of the media telling Newcastle fans repeatedly that they are deluded if they think anything better than survival should be the aim / hope / expectation.

In this part (see below) of The Athletic interview, Isaac Hayden says this mentality is ‘ the shift that needs to happen.’

He believes after the transfer window that NUFC / Mike Ashley have done well and Newcastle United now have the best team / squad since he arrived in summer 2016.

Many Newcastle fans would agree BUT are yet to see that shown on the pitch, to say there are serious doubts about Steve Bruce’s ability to get the best out of this squad of players, would be a serious understatement.

Obviously, we are all desperate for a takeover to happen and proper ambition to be shown. However, if that doesn’t happen, can we really then hope for better than a survival mentality under Mike Ashley…?

Isaac Hayden talking to The Athletic about ambition (or lack of it…) at Newcastle United:

“It feels like we got to lockdown, played a couple of games, hit the 40-points mark and it was done and dusted. I’m going to be honest with you, that mentality is a problem at the club. It’s a mentality issue. It’s not something which can just be switched off, it has to be worked on. Mentally, the club as a whole has been happy with survival and that’s the shift that needs to happen. Get to 40 points and you should be kicking on for 50.

“We finished 13th again (for a second season running). Is that great? No. Is it the end of the world? No. At least it’s something. At least you’re not scraping around, relying on the last day of the season to stay up. So you go, ‘OK, next year — what’s the aim? Is it to be the same? Or is the aim to be better? Where are we going with this?’ It was very important that it was going in the right direction this summer for me to sign.

“I don’t want to feel like we’re just happy to go through the motions, bringing in a freebie (signing) here and a loan there and just survive. Maybe some players would be alright with that; get their money, go home, have a nice, flashy lifestyle. I want to win games and get as high up the table as possible.

“Even with the proposed takeover, which I won’t go into too much, if I’m in a team I’m excited, because it’s a challenge. What’s going to make me better is the knowledge that the owners could go out and buy someone for £30 million and automatically push the level of the whole group up. That’s what you want.

“Having said that, we have to be fair to Mike Ashley. People will have a go at him and we understand all the reasons, but we’ve brought in good players this summer, for now and the future. Coronavirus has hit every single owner, but Mike did a good job with that. We brought players in for the positions we needed. That was a big factor in whether I was going to commit or not. I look at the squad now and it’s probably the best it’s been for four or five years.”

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