WHEN a player joins Newcastle United, they usually dream of emulating Alan Shearer by scoring at St James’ Park. If they really know their history, they might cite Jackie Milburn as an attacking inspiration.

For Isaac Hayden, though, the dream was somewhat different. Having opened his Tyneside account in Wednesday’s 4-1 win over Reading, the Newcastle midfielder is delighted to have followed in the footsteps of Santiago Munez.

Who you might say? And you could be forgiven for asking the question. Munez was the lead character in the 2005 film “Goal” that charted the rise of a Hispanic American footballer who secured a dream move to Newcastle United.

It was Hayden’s favourite film as he was growing up in Chelmsford, and it sprang to mind after he drilled home a low first-half effort three days ago.

“As a kid, my favourite film was Goal,” said Hayden, who joined Newcastle in a £2.5m move from Arsenal at the start of the summer. “I loved it. I was a mad keen football fan, I watched it all the time, and of course St James' Park featured heavily in it.

“I remember thinking, ‘Wow, that must be a great place to play and score goals’. Growing up in the south, I had no links with Newcastle, but my impression was that it must be a really big club because they're making a film about it.

“I used to get goosebumps watching that film with a big crowd and amazing atmosphere inside the ground. It was everything about it really, the fans were so passionate, the stadium looked incredible, even the black-and-white stripes.

“I suppose I've always felt a connection with the club ever since. I don't know the last time I watched the film, but those memories stuck.

“Now I can say I've scored a goal at the same end as Santiago! The roar was just as loud as it was in the film, but his goal was probably a bit more spectacular than mine.”

Wednesday’s victory secured Newcastle’s first points of the season, with Rafael Benitez’s side having lost their opening two games against Fulham and Huddersfield.

The challenge now is to maintain the momentum by securing a positive result in this afternoon’s game against a Bristol City side who have claimed six points from their first three outings.

Hayden was happy with Newcastle’s performance against Reading, particularly after the break as they ran in three goals, but the midfielder accepts it is much too early to be taking anything for granted as Benitez continues to remodel his team.

“It was a decent performance (on Wednesday) and now it's about building on that,” he said. “Losing against Huddersfield was a huge let-down because I was so looking forward to my home debut.

“It didn't turn out the way I hoped, but this game is all about reactions and I thought we reacted very well.”