Jonny Hayes explains how to exploit Ange's Celtic

By John McGinley

October 5, 2021

Aberdeen star Jonny Hayes has been speaking about the tactics used to put pressure on Celtic on Sunday, after the Bhoys picked up a narrow victory.

Jota’s crucial late goal was enough to secure a 2-1 win for Ange Postecoglou’s team, but Aberdeen were competitive in the match for much of the 90 minutes.

Typically, our defence was put under pressure in possession on multiple occasions, which Hayes reckons is the way to really get at this Celtic team.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

As quoted by The Herald, he said: “The game plan was to push right up and it was to see the best way of going about it. It is still a learning curve with so many new players playing together.

“Our intent was to go and press their centre-halves from the off and to play the game in their half. There were times when it worked well and you saw that with the pressure we put Joe (Hart) under.

“It is naivety and switching off the briefest second and players of that quality can pick you up and be a threat. That is where you get punished.

Aberdeen 1-2 Celtic | LIVE Reaction

Aberdeen 1-2 Celtic | LIVE Reaction

“We are disappointed. When we got the goal in the second half we got a bit of impetus and we sensed a bit of vulnerability and we felt that, like we were going to win the game. I wouldn’t call it a sucker punch but we showed a bit of naivety when we switched off.”

Distribution from the back remains a problem at Celtic and something the defensive line still needs to fully figure out.

The triangles and passing circuits created for Joe Hart still aren’t quite there, which can force the former England international into hurried, uncomfortable passes.

Photo by ANP Sport via Getty Images

It’s clear this is the way Ange Postecoglou wants the team to play their football, so they can break through that high press and exploit opposition teams, but right now it’s not as effective as it should be.

Hopefully, this is solved with more match and training time, rather than being a personnel problem. The defensive unit will likely be put under similar pressure by Motherwell away from home after the international break.

In other news, Jota’s price tag and what comes next at Celtic.