Isaac Hayden is hoping that he’s winning Newcastle United fans back over – after being denied a move away from the club.
Hayden scored in Monday night’s 1-1 draw against Wolverhampton Wanderers.
The midfielder’s strike was cancelled out by a controversial 95th-minute goal from Willy Boly.
Hayden has asked to leave the club for family reasons in the last two transfer windows. However, Rafa Benitez wouldn’t let the 23-year-old go because he wasn’t able to secure a replacement.
Hayden’s strike at Molineux was his first since October 2017.
“It meant a lot – I haven’t scored for a while,” said Hayden. “It’s just helping the team. Whether I score or someone else scores, it doesn’t matter.
“It’s just disappointing to not get the three points, especially because I think the fans deserved that. They travelled down on a Monday night, and it was packed out again, so credit to them. They deserved a lot more.”
Hayden celebrated his strike in front of United’s 2,500 travelling fans, and the former England Under-21 international hopes to re-establish a bond with those supporters who were unhappy at his transfer request.
“Of course, I feel the positive vibes,” said Hayden, signed from Arsenal in the summer of 2016.
“Everyone will have opinions about certain things, but I’m a one of those people who wears their heart on their sleeve. I’m always honest, I’m never going to hold back or hold emotions in.
“If some people don’t like it, they don’t like it. If they like it, then fair enough. I don’t think anyone can look at the performances and effort in the past few games and think that I’ve not been committed or I haven’t given everything for the cause.
“I’ve tried my best in every game. Some games I’m going to play badly; some games I’ll be good.
“The minimum is the effort, and I don’t think I’ve lacked that.”
Hayden has had a run in the team this year in the absence of injured pair Mohamed Diame and Jonjo Shelvey and Ki Sung-yueng, who went to the Asian Cup with South Korea.
“I feel good,” said Hayden. “Playing so many games in a short space of time did me the world of good, because it can be difficult when you play one and then don’t play for two or three, then play one.
“When you have that rhythm you start to get into your flow. It was slightly different at Wolves because we pressed higher up, we played a slightly different formation, but it was a top performance and I think we deserved the three points but unfortunately we didn’t get it.”
Hayden – who wants to move south to be closer to his infant daughter – had been waiting on a possible move in last month’s transfer window.
“It wasn’t really that difficult for me in January, because I was playing games,” said Hayden. “I just enjoy playing games. It doesn’t matter who you’re playing for, you just want to play.
“It makes it so much easier to get through the period, because you’re just focusing on training or playing, so it didn’t really bother me that month, especially as soon as you cross the white line.
“It was maybe more difficult off the pitch with things flying around, conversations being had between the manager and other people, and the club and other clubs.
“But when you play, as soon as you’re out there, it’s all about playing. You forget about everything else.”
Meanwhile, the Wolves result left Newcastle a point above the Premier League’s relegation zone.
“It’s frustrating,” said Hayden. “We’d done so well for so long in the game – we played 94 minutes and 50-something seconds.”