Isaac Hayden reveals what's 'frustrating' Newcastle United's players
Isaac Hayden says Newcastle United’s “frustrated” players are desperate for the club to show more ambition in the transfer market.
Hayden helped the club finish 13th in the Premier League last season.
And manager Rafa Benitez, still in talks over his own future with his contract expiring at the end of the month, wants owner Mike Ashley to commit more funds to squad strengthening this summer.
The situation, however, is complicated by a £350million takeover approach from the Bin Zayed Group.
Hayden, for his part, says the club’s players would welcome extra competition from the arrival of “better” players.
Asked if there was a desire in the dressing room for the club to progress, the midfielder said: “It’s a frustrated dressing room.
“If you ask any player in that dressing-room, every single one of them wants to improve.
“There’s no one in there who wants to shy away and does not want better players arriving. The only way you get better is by bringing in better players.”
Hayden was a pivotal figure for Newcastle in the second half of the season.
The 24-year-old – who wants to leave United this summer for family reasons – came into the team halfway through the season after Benitez lost Ki Sung-yueng to the Asian Cup and Jonjo Shelvey and Mohamed Diame to injuries.
And Hayden was outstanding in the latter part of the campaign alongside
United, handed a “horrible” start by the fixture computer, failed to win any of their first 10 league games.
However, Benitez, forced to sell to buy in the transfer market by Ashley last summer, didn’t panic – and nor did his players.
“The fixture list was horrible at the start, and we couldn’t buy a win,” said Benitez. “But the manager kept the same belief, and nothing changed in training.
“We did the same things. We knew the tide would turn when the fixtures became more kind. We found our form second half of the season.”
Meanwhile, Hayden hopes to go to represent England at senior level next season.
The Chelmsford-born player – who was capped at Under-21 level earlier in his career – believes he has to perform over a “longer period”.
Asked if he wanted a senior call-up, Hayden said: “Yes. But if you look at players in my position … Jordan Henderson playing regularly for Liverpool and fighting for the title.
“For me to get into that group, I have to play regularly and play really, really well, not just for half a season. For me to come into reckoning, I have to do that over a longer period.”