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‘I would love to stay’- Jonny Hayes hopes to earn new Aberdeen contract

Jonny Hayes celebrates after making it 1-0 against Ross County in Dingwall.
Jonny Hayes celebrates after making it 1-0 against Ross County in Dingwall.

Veteran winger Jonny Hayes hopes to earn a new Aberdeen contract.

The 34-year-old’s current deal expires at the end of the season and he “would love to stay” at Pittodrie beyond that.

Hayes has rolled back the years in recent months by hitting top form.

The Republic of Ireland cap netted the opening goal in the 1-1 draw with Ross County in Dingwall.

Hayes is in his second spell at Pittodrie, having returned to the club following a three-year spell at Celtic.

On returning to Pittodrie in summer 2020, the Dons were suffering financially due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Hayes deferred his wages for a year in order to push through the Dons deal.

Now he hopes to land a new contract.

Aberdeen’s Jonny Hayes celebrates his goal to make it 1-0 against Ross County.

Hayes said: “I would love to stay.

“We will cross that bridge when we come to it.

“I am quite settled here, I have family and the little man starts the academy.

“I have spoken to the club.

“We have had general conversations, but the focus has been on the transfer window in recent weeks and months.

“I am quite happy playing football and helping the team.

“Whatever happens in football happens.”

Lack of cutting edge in attack

Hayes admits a lack of cutting edge in attack cost the Reds three points at Ross County.

Aberdeen sold playmaker Ryan Hedges to Blackburn Rovers in a £200,000 switch in the January transfer window.

Dons boss Stephen Glass also blasted Hedges’ agent for forcing a move away from Pittodrie.

Glass admitted he tried to sign a striker in the window, but could not get a deal over the line.

Jonny Hayes celebrates with Scott Brown after scoring to make it 1-0 against Ross County in Dingwall.

Hayes said: “If we had a wee bit more of a cutting edge, we would have won it, 100 percent.

“The last 10 minutes was a bit like basketball and they had a few set-pieces.

“There was no lack of effort or work ethic that stopped either team from winning the game.

“It was decision-making in the final third and a lack of quality that didn’t allow us to go on and score that second goal.”

No deadline day drama for Hayes

The January transfer window shut on Monday night with Aberdeen securing three signings during the month – Vicente Besuijen, Adam Montgomery and Dante Polvara.

While they lost Hedges in the window, the Dons did retain right-back Calvin Ramsay despite intense interest from clubs in the English Premier League and across Europe.

Italian Serie A side Bologna had a £4.8m bid for the 18-year-old rejected.

Aberdeen’s Vicente Besuijen on his debut against Ross County following a transfer from ADO Den Haag

Secured on loan from Celtic, left-back Montgomery was Aberdeen’s only transfer deadline day acquisition.

Supporters watch developments on transfer deadline day with a mix of excitement and apprehension – for the potential signings and exits.

There was no drama for Hayes.

He said: “To be honest, I was in bed early and when I woke up the next morning I saw everything in the newspapers.

“I’m at the age now where I couldn’t care less about a transfer window – it’s none of my business.

“As a player, if you have a chance of going somewhere then things can affect you, but, for me, I had a game to prepare for.

“Most transfer talks are down weeks or months in advance, so you have a rough idea that you are going to be moving.

“I knew I wasn’t going to be going anywhere.”

Jonny Hayes in action for Aberdeen in the 1-1 draw in Dingwall.

A superb goal… but still disappointed

The versatile winger/left-back scored against Ross County early in the second half when racing on to a long ball down the left channel from skipper Scott Brown.

Bursting into the box, Hayes held off Keith Watson before rifling a 12-yard drive into the far corner.

It was superb strike and his second goal of the season.

However, Hayes was left disappointed as the Reds couldn’t hold on for a much-needed away victory.

Aberdeen have won just twice in 12 away Premiership games this season.

He said: “Ultimately, my goal didn’t matter too much because we didn’t win the game.

“It is not about scoring goals, it is about picking up three points and we didn’t achieve that.

“It is disappointing.”

No win but a marked improvement

Aberdeen conceded just five minutes after Hayes’ opener in Dingwall.

Despite the disappointment of not seeing out the win the Reds’ performance was a marked improvement on the dire 1-0 loss at St Mirren in their previous match.

Hayes said: “We wanted to make up for last Tuesday (St Mirren).

“We worked on the training pitch on how we were going to set-up in the game against Ross County.

“We had the game plan and went ahead, and so it was disappointing to concede not long after.  In the end, it cost us three points.”



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