Jonny Hayes admits Aberdeen no longer competing with Celtic for second place

By John McGinley

February 8, 2021

Despite a bit of hype earlier in the season, Aberdeen players are now admitting earning second place above Celtic is no longer a realistic target.

As recently as December, senior Aberdeen men like Andrew Considine were publicly stating their belief that the Dons could finish above the Bhoys [Daily Record].

Doing so would have earned them a Champions League qualification spot.

At one stage, the points gap between Aberdeen and Celtic was almost non-existent.

However, Aberdeen have been terrible lately, putting Dons boss Derek McInnes under pressure. They’ve dropped 11 points behind the Hoops, who hold a game in hand.

Former Celtic star and current Aberdeen attacker Jonny Hayes now thinks it’s all about catching Hibernian in third for them.

He told Not The Old Firm: “Earlier in the season, we weren’t scoring that many goals, but we were looking more secure at the back. More recently, individual errors have crept in and that’s proved costly for us, especially when you look at the bigger picture.

“A misplaced pass, not tracking a runner, all our mistakes seem to be getting punished all the time. That’s the kind of run we’re in, and that’s cost us a lot of points. It’s important we finish as high up the league as possible. The battle now is to try and catch Hibs and we have to treat every single game we have left as a cup final.

“We know how important European football is to the club, how much it impacts on the budgets, and we know how much the manager and the fans want to achieve European football again.”

Celtic are lucky Aberdeen and Hibs aren’t having good seasons

Despite their potential European qualification, you wouldn’t say that either Aberdeen or Hibs are having great seasons.

Both have shown flashes of form and quality but have also ultimately disappointed supporters.

Celtic star Tom Rogic in action against Aberdeen / (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Fans of the Pittodrie and Easter Road outfits may well be thinking ‘what if?’ when it comes to the Scottish Premiership table. Celtic are having a very poor season and could have been caught had other rivals had their act together.

Hibs aren’t out of things completely, sitting six points behind. However, with Celtic hold two games in hand, even we couldn’t mess up finishing second surely?

In other news, Greg Taylor has been highlighting Odsonne Edouard’s work ethic.