The 24-year-old was given his marching orders in the Magpies’ 5-0 humiliation at the King Power Stadium on Sunday for a forceful challenge on Dennis Praet, and Sky Sports pundit Mills was not impressed.
“It was poor and that’s the problem, moments like that you need to keep your head,” he told Football Insider. “It doesn’t matter what the score is, if there are olés from the crowd or whatever it might be, you’ve got to keep your cool, otherwise you start to let yourself down and let the team down.
“That’s the last thing you need.”
Look, football is about opinions, we all know that. Mills has earned himself a reputation for being one of the most outspoken pundits around, although not as a particularly good one in the eyes of most Newcastle fans. This Hayden sending off has become a bit of a contentious issue. Clearly people like Mills and Graeme Souness thought it was a definite red card, whereas other ex professionals like Chris Sutton and Robbie Savage felt Hayden was very unlucky to be sent off. When you really think about it, though, what else was Hayden supposed to do once he had made his challenge – winning the ball in the process, by the way? The Englishman came in with a lot of force, yes, but he did actually win the ball. After that it was mere physics that he was going to collide with Praet in the manner he did. There’s nothing he could have done to have avoided the incident, and so a straight red seems like it was slightly harsh.