Hayden was an interested observer of Anton Ferdinand's debut under Peter Taylor and says:
"It is such an honour when you get selected to play for your country at any level, and the U21s is the next step.
"He took it in his stride again and didn't look out of place."
Having played at centre half against Ukraine on Tuesday, he could get his wish to do so again for West Ham in the absence of Christian Dailly and Andy Melville.
"Everyone needs to get their break and you don't really know until you do it," says Hayden.
"I think he is ready and won't let anyone down if he played in that position, but it is down to the manager."
Hayden could find himself alongside Anton at the heart of the defence, and he adds:
"We are a bit short at the back with the big two having gone so I may have to play at the back.
"If I am asked to play there I will do so; I would prefer to play in one position but it is not really a problem."
But whoever plays where, Hayden is determined to West Ham get back to winning ways, and he says:
"You have to be really consistently winning to get promoted and we have had a little dip in form, so hopefully we can bounce back on Saturday.
"It was a bad day against Wigan, who are a good side; we didn't get started at all in that game so we are going to have to take the vital steps to put it right on Saturday.
"I think the three teams we have played are all going to be up there; the start was a difficult one but one we should come through and we have to get up the table - because we are a very strong side.
"After a defeat like that you can't wait for the next game to put it right and in the first division there are a lot of games that come thick and fast; you have to be on the ball all the time.
"There has been a sense of purpose in training and there is a long way to go yet."