Isaac Hayden insisted during an interview with the Chronicle, that the page has been turned from the the Rafa Benitez era, and says he and teammates are fully behind Steve Bruce.
Hayden is now a firm fan-favourite, and their adulation has increased following his decision to stay at the club, having previously expressed a desire to leave to be closer to his family.
His words will be music to the ears of Bruce who has endured much derision from underwhelmed fans, and Hayden becomes the latest of a group of senior players at the club to insist it is time to move on.
Fans will say he is the latest to be pushed out by Mike Ashley and Lee Charnley in a concerted public relations effort to get the fans on their side following the fallout after Rafa’s decision to leave.
But it feels slightly different with Hayden, who has played under Bruce before while on loan at Hull, and there appears to be genuine feeling behind his words.
Fans cannot move on as easily as players can
When asked if the page has been turned on the Rafa era or not, Hayden said: “I think it’s already turned.
“A lot of the players respected Rafa – myself included. He was the one who brought me to the club. Everyone has respect for him but at the end of the day he chose to move on.
“We now have a new manager. As individuals we have to focus on the new era. We have exciting new players and it’s a fresh start for everyone.”
Of course, fans will point to the fact that none of them have a particular axe to grind with the manager. His appointment was merely a catalyst in their movement against the club.
He is a coincidental inclusion in the catalogue of errors incurred during Mike Ashley’s tenure.
Hayden is right. As players, they must accept what has happened, and move on. And for those like himself and Jonjo Shelvey, the change may have seen both stay at a club they were otherwise resigned to leaving.
It is not so clear-cut for supporters, however. Fans do not have the choice to leave and change clubs when things get too much for them.
They are bound to the club in their blood for life – and that often hurts at times!