Former Celtic player Jonny Hayes has previewed Aberdeen’s visit to Celtic Park on Sunday as the Premiership kicks off. The Irishman rejoined Aberdeen from Celtic in 2020 and he has admitted that the game is the ‘toughest fixture’ in the calendar but that he has hopes that they can take the game to The Scottish Champions.
Speaking to Aberdeen FC, the 35-year-old has said that it will be a great way to start the season even if Jim Goodwin’s side will know that they are up against it from the start.
“It’s a very different test on Sunday and we’re all aware of that. No disrespect, but a couple of the teams we’ve played in the League Cup are part-time where now, we’re going away to the team that are the champions. That’s probably the toughest fixture in the calendar on paper.
“Saying that, there’s no better way to start the season than by going to Celtic Park, playing in a full stadium and taking on one of the biggest challenges. I know some people talk about these games being a free hit, that you expect to lose and anything you get is a bonus, but I hate that mentality and it certainly isn’t a way of thinking that’s good enough for Aberdeen Football Club or for the fans. We go into every game to win. Of course, you can’t win every game, but that’s our intention as we get out on the pitch.
“Playing Celtic is a great way to start any season and for the new boys, especially the ones who haven’t played up here before, it’s a great baptism and a good way to quickly understand some of the challenges they’ll face up here. If we could go there and win, it would be a great boost at the start of the season.”
Celtic will be keen to put a marker down and get the new campaign started in the best possible way. Aberdeen provided a tough test last season, despite finishing tenth in the table. Celtic narrowly beat them on three occasions results that were essential to delivering the Premiership title to Paradise.
Hayes arrived at Celtic Park back in the summer of 2017. Although, after winning 8 out of a possible 8 trophies, he leaves Celtic with his head held high as a part of the club’s history. In 62 appearances for the Celtic, Hayes’ highlight was probably his goal at Ibrox, which sealed Celtic’s 2-0 win over Rangers.