Newcastle United boss Steve Bruce reveals why he dropped Isaac Hayden against former club Arsenal
The 58-year-old preferred Sean Longstaff and Nabil Bentaleb in midfield, despite Hayden previously starting all but four of the Magpies' league games this term.
United fans were surprised by his omission as Hayden played the final quarter of an hour.
Bruce said: “I just think Sean picked himself from his performance against Oxford. Bentaleb has played well in the games we’ve played so I just thought why not.”
Despite the heavy scoreline, Bruce remains optimistic that Newcastle will stay above relegation danger.
“We’ve given ourselves a decent platform, and I was really pleased with the way we played in the first half in particular. We’ve got to maintain those standards.
"I still think we’ve got a couple coming back who will help us, and the ones that need games will be better for the game today.”