Jonny Hayes’ goal at Ibrox was cherished by every single Celtic supporter and the player himself.
But in typical Hayes fashion, he doesn’t seem to be getting ahead of himself with it. He knows it was just a goal. Just a goal in a long season that needs to be full of them if there’s to be more success brought to our great football club.
The £1million signing (Daily Mail) rattled home the second in the 2-0 win at Ibrox nearly three weeks ago. Since then, he was brought on for a short cameo at Hamilton where we scraped by with a 1-0 win. Failure to have seen out that contest would’ve minimised the impact of the Rangers win.
And that shows why Hayes is right when he spoke to the Celtic View this week (Volume 55, Issue 06, Page 12). Hayes wasn’t getting carried away, and the goal is well at the back of his mind now.
“I’m not sure how I sound or come across saying this but, for me, it was just a goal. It was done and dusted and the game was won and then that was it.
“I’ve seen all the reaction and had people coming up to me and talking about an Irishman scoring at Ibrox. But I just see it as doing my job. I don’t look into it too much.
“All I was thinking about when I scored it was that’s the three points in the bag and the game was done and dusted. Maybe that’s just the attitude of the managers I’ve worked under rubbing off on me.”
The fans did the celebrating for you Jonny
This is pretty much what Jonny Hayes is all about. It’s no wonder he seems so laid back when talking about his clincher at Ibrox. He’s a consummate professional and is never one to let the occasion get the better of him.
And in many ways, Hayes is also absolutely spot on. Sure, there’s an added spice when beating Rangers. Especially this Rangers side under Steven Gerrard. It feels great to prove our superiority over them in one-off games. But there’s a bigger picture here.
When Hayes got caught out at the end on Saturday, Hamilton had a half-chance. A ball was flashed across the face of goal after Hayes had lost one individual battle down the left side. Accies made a mess of it. But what if they didn’t?
That’s exactly why Hayes’ mental attitude of it only being one game is the correct one. Jumping around with joy two weeks after beating Rangers would be a bit over the top. It would be giving our rivals too much credit. It was one game, albeit one big one which changed the complexion of the title-race early on.
Hayes’ attitude is the kind we need around our entire squad. And, to be fair, nobody has come out and said the contrary to what the Irishman stated.
Hayes wasn’t over-the-top in his Ibrox celebrations either. He’s too experienced for that. He knows there’s plenty of games to be won before we should be dancing around celebrating anything. But fair play to him – plenty of us would’ve struggled to be so calm if we were in his position!