If Aberdeen are starting to feel the heat as the title race reaches the business end of the campaign then Jonny Hayes was doing a fine job of hiding it at Pittodrie yesterday.
The Dons could find themselves at the top of the Scottish Premiership this evening if Celtic fail to beat Partick Thistle at lunchtime and they overcome struggling Kilmarnock.
Celtic manager Ronny Deila confessed last week his side’s recent slump is giving him sleepless nights but Hayes is loving every minute of chasing Aberdeen’s first title since 1985.
He said: “I find it enjoyable.
“Pressure is when you are down at the bottom of the league and struggling to keep your job.
“People at the stadium might lose their jobs if the club is relegated. When other people rely on you, that is pressure.
“We are at the top end of the table and winning more games than not.
“Any player that buckles under pressure shouldn’t be playing football. It is a challenge that we relish.
“The players are thoroughly enjoying it and we are looking forward to the rest of the season.”
Hayes, who was yesterday included in the provisional Republic of Ireland squad for this month’s friendlies against Slovakia and Switzerland, produced a man-of-the-match performance on his comeback from a hamstring injury in Tuesday’s 2-1 win at Partick Thistle.
The Irishman was sporting a pair of tights under his shorts for an added layer of protection and hopes they will prove to be a lucky omen once again when the Dons take on Kilmarnock at Pittodrie today.
He said: “I have been getting a bit of stick from the rest of the lads but they seemed to work.
“I was a bit worried as I had a hamstring issue this time last season and when I came back I tore my calf muscle on my first game back.
“I wanted to give myself every possible chance to play. I have been training with them all the time and I have got a nice red pair for Saturday.
“There are so many little things involved in the game and you are always looking for something to give you an extra edge or advantage.
“It could be a psychological thing, it could be a physical thing.
“If I find something is helping me I will go ahead and do it.”