Isaac Hayden says he’ll never forget the moment Newcastle United fans chanted his name at Craven Cottage.
The midfielder – who hopes to be allowed to leave Newcastle for family reasons this summer – made what could be his final appearance for the club in Sunday’s 4-0 win over Fulham.
United’s travelling fans chanted “there’s only one Isaac Hayden” when he was taken off late in the game.
And that moment was “special” to Hayden given that fan sentiment was different last summer when he first revealed he wanted to leave the club to be with his fiancee and infant daughter, who do not live in the North East.
“It was special to get that feeling of appreciation,” said Hayden. “I appreciate them, and for them to show their appreciation back to me was very, very nice. It’s something which will stick with me for the rest of my life.”
Hayden knew there would be a reaction when he made it clear that he wanted to leave.
“It’s always going to be awkward when you make it clear you need to leave,” said the 24-year-old. “It’s about being brave as a person, being honest, and taking responsibility on. That’s something I’ll always do.
“There’s always going to be hard times when you come out and say those sort of things. Some people aren’t going to take to you, and you’re going to have different reactions. I expected all of that. But the only way to change it is to give 110%, put in good performances, which I feel I’ve done ever since I’ve got in the team, and the fans appreciate that.”
Newcastle ended the season 13th in the Premier League.
“It was great to end the season with a 4-0 win away from home – you can’t really ask for much more than that,” said Hayden.
Hayden was fielded at right-back against Fulham by manager Rafa Benitez.
“It was strange,” said Hayden. “There was nobody else who the manager really thought could play there. But I just get on with it and try my best, which is what I did. We got a clean sheet and won 4-0.”