By support

24th Dec, 2017 | 11:01am

Celtic fringe player can turn into main man if Rodgers shows faith

COMMENT

It was perhaps a surprise to see Jonny Hayes start for Celtic against his old team Aberdeen in the match between the sides at Celtic Park on Saturday.

Hayes hasn’t started many games since joining the Hoops from the Dons in the summer, and mostly been on the fringes of the squad.

Brendan Rodgers’ plan worked though, as Hayes scored his first goal for the Hoops in the game, taking advantage of poor defending to scramble the ball home and put the Bhoys 2-0 ahead in a game they eventually won 3-0.

It was always going to be difficult for the 30-year-old Irishman to break into a team which had just won a first domestic treble since 2001 and completed its first unbeaten league season since the 1890s.

But Hayes has battled hard, and has been rewarded with his first goal for his new club.

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The fact that Hayes started such an important league game is a big show of support for him from Rodgers, who could easily have started James Forrest, who has been in good form this season.

The big question now is if Hayes will keep his place in the Hoops starting line-up for the upcoming matches against Dundee and Rangers, after his performance against the Dons there must be a good chance of him starting both games.

The fringe player has a real chance to transform into a key player for the Hoops – but that will only happen if Rodgers continues to show the faith.

In other Celtic news, supporters slammed Dedryck Boyata after his performance against Aberdeen

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