Isaac Hayden says teams are asking Newcastle United awkward questions – and they must quickly find the answers.
Rafa Benitez’s side suffered a second Championship defeat on Saturday.
It just wasn’t the performance we wanted to give with that support behind us. On the pitch, we have a few things we need to iron out.Isaac Hayden
Huddersfield Town won 2-1 at a sold-out St James’ Park thanks to goals from Nahki Wells and Jack Payne.
New No 9 Dwight Gayle netted for Newcastle, who next take on Reading at home on Wednesday night.
United, beaten by Fulham in their first game eight days earlier, once again missed the suspended Aleksandar Mitrovic up front, while the team made basic errors in defence.
Huddersfield’s winner, scored eight minutes from time, came from a counter-attack.
And midfielder Hayden, signed from Arsenal this summer, admits Newcastle must find a way to play against teams that sit back and hit them on the break.
“It’s frustrating,” said the 21-year-old.
“It just wasn’t the performance we wanted to give with that support behind us. On the pitch, we have a few things we need to iron out.
“It’s disappointing. We sound like a broken record after last week (against Fulham).
“I don’t know how to put my finger on it. It was like their cup final. They defended resolutely and made it difficult for us.
“It was difficult for us to get on the ball in dangerous positions, especially in the centre of the pitch. It was hard. That’s what we will face this season, and it is about us finding the solutions.
“We have to come up with those solutions when teams drop off, like they did.
“They weren’t spectacular, but they defended and hit us on the counter attack. Teams will do that and they took their chances and we didn’t.”
United are grateful that they now have another home fixture in a bid to make amends.
“Games come thick and fast most weeks you play twice in a week,” said the England Under-20 international.
“We will have a great support on Wednesday and hopefully we can do better than we did.
“We have no excuses here. I don’t think we lacked effort. We put it in and worked hard.
“The main thing was it just didn’t drop for us.
“It’s hard right now to say straight after a game what the issues are or what went wrong, we will sit down later and watch the game.
“There were a few positives. The first half was not good enough, but we did improve in all areas after half-time.
“That is something to build on, but we did get hit with the sucker punch.
Huddersfield created the better chances, and Gayle – who put an early header wide – had few opportunities in front of goal in open play.
Mitrovic – the only player in Benitez’s squad capable of holding the ball up and playing with his back to goal – still has two more games of a four-match ban to serve.
Asked if there were enough goals in the team, Hayden said: “You just have to look at the players in our forward areas – they’re proven to score goals.
“I don’t think that’s necessarily an issue, it’s just about creating more chances, getting in to more dangerous areas.
“Maybe we have to work out the team’s weaknesses and try to work on those a bit more.
“We got it wide a lot more second-half, got the ball into the box and caused more problems.
“But it is difficult sat here now to say what the issues are, but we need to look at things with a bit more perspective.”