Newcastle's Isaac Hayden: There were a few ding-dongs with Steve Bruce

Newcastle’s Isaac Hayden confirms there were a few ‘ding-dongs’ between him and Steve Bruce at St James’ Park and also hints the former Magpies boss’ tactics were too negative before his sacking last year

  • Isaac Hayden has lifted the lid on his rows with ex-Newcastle boss Steve Bruce
  • The midfielder confirmed he had a few ‘ding-dongs’ with Bruce at St James’ Park
  • Bruce was sacked by Newcastle last October after the club’s Saudi-led takeover 
  • Hayden hailed Bruce as a ‘man’s man’ but hinted that his tactics were negative

Issac Hayden has hinted that Steve Bruce’s tactics at Newcastle were too negative and confirmed the pair had a few disputes at St James’ Park – but hailed the sacked Magpies boss for being a ‘man’s man’. 

Bruce was sacked at Newcastle boss last October, shortly after the club’s £305million takeover by a Saudi-led consortium, after becoming an increasingly unpopular figure with the Newcastle players and fans. 

Sportsmail exclusively revealed in September that Bruce criticised midfielder Hayden for letting Cristiano Ronaldo run through and scored in a 4-1 defeat to Manchester United, even though the 26-year-old was being shoehorned at centre-back.

Isaac Hayden (left) has confirmed that he and Steve Bruce (right) had a few ‘ding-dongs’ at Newcastle 

Bruce was sacked by lowly Newcastle in October after the club’s £305m Saudi-led takeover

Newcastle’s players were baffled by Bruce’s outburst in a team meeting and Hayden has confirmed there were a few ‘ding-dongs’ with his former boss.

‘He was our manager and we had to respect him,’ Hayden told The Beautiful Game Podcast. ‘I mean, to be fair, we had a few ding-dongs during our time between him and myself. 

‘As player-manager you get these sorts of things, but to be fair to him he’s a typical man’s man you know? You can have an argument or whatever it is but you shake hands at the end of it and that’s it, it’s done.

‘There was no drag-on with him. You could say what he wanted to say and then bang. He was a proper old-school manager in terms of (being) a man’s man.’ 

Sportsmail revealed last year that Bruce slammed Hayden (left) for his error in Cristiano Ronaldo’s (right) second goal in a loss to Manchester United, which baffled Newcastle stars

Sportsmail also revealed towards the back end of last year that Newcastle’s players, as a collective, believed the training regime was set up to suit the manager’s plans – and not the players. 

Bruce left St James’ Park with the north-east club without a win all season and firmly in the relegation zone, before being replaced by Eddie Howe who has guided the Magpies to six points in his first eight league matches. 

Hayden revealed that Newcastle’s home clash against Leeds in September, which saw the Magpies go behind before levelling through Allan Saint-Maximin in the first-half, was the most hostile atmosphere in the Bruce era due to fan hostility. 

The 26-year-old also claimed Bruce was too focused on respecting his opposition, rather than implementing an attacking style of football in certain Newcastle games, which is what Howe has done since he arrived. 

Hayden (left) hailed Bruce (right) as a ‘man’s man’ but hinted that his tactics were too negative

‘It’s tricky because the team wasn’t doing well in some of the games,’ Hayden added. ‘Some of the atmospheres were tricky to play in this season, just because of the hostility between the fans and the manager (Bruce). 

‘You have to try and do your job and play the game plan from the manager as best you can and block the noise out. 

‘With Steve, sometimes he got caught up on the opposition and how good they were and what we had to do to stop them, rather than what we were good at and what we could impose on them. 

‘Let’s be honest. Whether people like it or not, fans or whoever it is, we finished 13th and 12th with him as manager in two seasons – and comfortably the first year and 12th looked better than it what because it was tight. But we’ve been in the Premier League, this is our fifth season now.’ 

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