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  • Manager hails Hayes after Hoops surge eight points clear

    Manager hails Hayes after Hoops surge eight points clear

    By: Tony Connelly on 23 Dec, 2017 18:38

  • BRENDAN Rodgers heaped praise on Jonny Hayes after the Irishman scored his first goal for the Hoops in Celtic’s 3-0 win over Aberdeen.

    The six-in-a-row champions replicated the dominant scoreline from earlier in the season against their title rivals to move eight points clear at the top of the Scottish Premiership.

    Hayes scored the second goal of the afternoon against his former club in what was a hugely impressive performance from the 30-year-old winger.

    Speaking to the media following the game Brendan Rodgers summed up Hayes performance as “brilliant”.

    “He’s just settling in to the club but the last couple of months he really taken a step forward,” said the manager. “In training he’s being that bit more direct.

    "Sometimes you come into a new club, you play it a bit safe and want to be everyone’s friend, but now he’s really aggressive in his game, both with and without the ball, and he was absolutely brilliant today.

    “He’s a young Irishman who knows what it means to be from Ireland and support Celtic. But to play for Celtic and get your first goal for Celtic, especially against your old club, is a really special day for him.”

    The manager also hailed his team’s performance as a whole which he said was “outstanding”, particularly given their packed run of fixtures.

    “It was a very convincing win I felt,” he said. “The first half was a battle as you would expect. In the second half, I thought we were outstanding.

    “The positioning allowed us to have longer periods with the ball. We were pressing higher up the field and it allowed us to create more opportunities. It was a very good win and a clean sheet. Some of the players who came into the team today were outstanding.

    “After disappointment you can learn," continued the Hoops boss. "We’ve come into these last two games and scored five goals and kept a clean sheet.

    "I think what was really impressive today was our physicality. The game in midweek was taxing physically and mentally, and against a team who are off the back of one of their best performances and have had a full week to prepare, itwas very impressive.”

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