Isaac Hayden reveals where Newcastle United went wrong – and what left him 'disappointed'

Isaac Hayden says the job's far from done at Newcastle United.

Sunday, 3rd March 2019, 11:23 am
Updated Sunday, 3rd March 2019, 11:27 am
Isaac Hayden tackles Felipe Anderson.

Rafa Benitez's side were beaten 2-0 by West Ham United on Saturday.

And the result left the club 14th in the Premier League table, and six points above the Premier League's relegation zone, ahead of Saturday's game against Everton at St James's Park.

The defeat followed a run of four home wins which had ease relegation fears on Tyneside.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Newcastle were undone by defensive errors at the London Stadium, where Declan Rice and Mark Noble were on target Manuel Pellegrini's team.

Hayden felt that the result was a timely "reminder" to the team of the work in front of them.

“It’s a sharp reminder for us that there’s still a lot of work to be done," said the midfielder.

"I don’t think going into the game the lads thought we were safe and finished or anything like that, I just think that West Ham were better. They were difficult to handle, (Felipe) Anderson and (Manuel) Lanzini were the difference for them.

"On the counter-attack, their pace was very, very good, but sometimes that can happen in games.

"It wasn’t like we’d suddenly turned into Manchester City and were going to win every game between now and the end of the season.

"It was always going to happen at some stage. The frustrating thing is just the manner in which it happened.

"The fashion we let the goals in meant that West Ham were 2-0 up before half time by really doing nothing. That’s the frustrating part.

“That was very disappointing, particularly after the run we’ve been on. It was two very sloppy goals.

"The set-piece (from Rice) was just a simple header, just blocking off and tracking runners, and the penalty (from Noble) was another block at the back post and then it’s 2-0.

"In Premier League games, when you’re 2-0 down before half-time, it’s always an uphill battle. We dug in second half and didn’t give up, the lads kept trying, it’s just that the final ball wasn’t there.

"We’ve been on a fabulous run of form, there have been a lot of games since Christmas and January and maybe we just ran out of steam after a long and busy week, but there are no excuses.

"West Ham were better than us, they were sharper to the ball. They’ve got a very good team."

The bottom two clubs – Huddersfield Town and Fulham – look doomed, and a dozen or more teams are scrambling to avoid the last relegation place, which is occupied by Cardiff City.

"It’s still tight," said Hayden. "There’s a little gap, a little cushion for us, but it’s still so tight and anything can happen. Southampton took Manchester United to the wire and could easily have beaten them, and then it’s all to play for again.

"It’s still so close at the bottom and nobody can predict what’s going to happen. We beat Man City and absolutely nobody would have thought that, so we have to assume there will be other strange results and look to do our own jobs.

"We have to focus on ourselves and take it game by game.

"We’ve got Everton next, so hopefully we can have a nice rest this week with no midweek game and then go all guns blazing."

Asked if there was only one relegation spot to avoid now, the 23-year-old added: “It’s tough to say.

"You look at West Brom last year, and everyone thought they were down, out and completely gone and then Darren Moore came in and he’s a good manager and took them to the brink of survival.

"Scott Parker, another good young coach, knows Fulham and the players – you just never know in football.

"As a collective, we just have to keep our foot on the gas, especially at home where we have our own fans behind us."