Newcastle United in China: Isaac Hayden reveals the inside story on playing for Steve Bruce
Hayden helped Bruce’s Hull City side win promotion in 2015-16 after joining on loan from Arsenal.
And the pair will today be reunited in Shanghai, China, where new manager Bruce will link up with his squad ahead of Saturday’s Premier League Asia Trophy game against West Ham United.
Hayden believes that Bruce, a boyhood Newcastle fan, will bring “togetherness” to the dressing room.
“Look, I’ve worked with Steve before,” said Hayden, who was in the side beaten 4-0 by Wolverhampton Wanderers in Nanjing last night.
“I know the type of manager that he is and the type of man that he is. In the circumstances at the club at the minute, I know he can bring togetherness. I know what he does on the training field and what style of play he wants to bring in. For us, at this moment in time, it’s a good appointment.
“I think everyone’s realistic and knows where the club’s at at the minute. We haven’t got superstars in the team that are going to make the difference by themselves like other teams have.
“We’re a well-drilled side. We’ve got players that care, want to do well and improve. It’s about working together and sticking together.”
Asked about the reaction on Tyneside to Bruce’s appointment, Hayden told the Gazette: “At the end of the day, I know him, not just as a manager but as a man as well. It’s a massive job for him because of where he comes from and the affiliation with the football club.
“I understand where the fans are coming from as I get what the fans want. I think there’s a lot of misconstruing about what they want.
“People talk about top six. I know what the fans want. They just want a team that progress, wants to improve and want to go forward. We get that.
“As players, the only thing we can do is try our best to improve ourselves and the manager coming in is going to do his best to improve us.
“Everyone at the club who’s a player has to buy into that.”