Tam McManus leaps to the defence of Celtic star Jonny Hayes

By David Walton

February 20, 2020

BBC man Tam McManus took to Twitter tonight to launch a defence of Celtic star Jonny Hayes.

Hayes started tonight in Copenhagen and put in a typically reliable shift. However, the Irishman still isn’t overly-favoured by everyone despite being a squad player.

Celtic wide man Jonny Hayes (Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

The former Aberdeen winger turned full-back used his pace to good effect tonight. He halted Copenhagen from getting in on goal on one particular occasion, and got up and down the left flank well tonight.

And McManus, speaking about Hayes at half-time, was quick to defend him for another solid performance:

Hayes shouldn’t ever be first-choice but he does a fine job

You can see why Neil Lennon is such a big fan of Hayes. Tonight was his 25th appearance of the season, and that’s proof enough of how favoured he is by the manager (Transfermarkt).

What must be remembered about Hayes is that he doesn’t pretend to be something he isn’t. He doesn’t try to be a skillful winger. He doesn’t attempt anything over-elaborate in a bid to show off. Hayes simply puts in a shift and gets us out of trouble with pace and energy.

That’s why he’ll never be a first-choice at Parkhead. Hayes will always be a player who features when Celtic need some cover. Everyone accepts that, and Hayes knows his role at Parkhead too.

Hayes playing against Ross County (George Wood/Getty Images)

Tonight was another piece of evidence that proves Hayes is up to the challenge in Europe. He’s not a player we have any fears over a this level. When he plays, he generally performs to a decent if not spectacular standard.

It’s good to see McManus stick up for Hayes here. He deserves to have a positive spotlight put on him, and once again he can be satisfied with another fine performance tonight.

Will it guarantee him a spot on Sunday against Kilmarnock? Probably not if Greg Taylor is fit, but it’s evident why Lennon never has a problem throwing him in.