Aberdeen: Derek McInnes delight at new Jonny Hayes deal

Jonny Hayes and Derek McInnes
Jonny Hayes (left) has committed himself to Aberdeen until 2019

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes says Jonny Hayes' new contract is "a huge boost" for the club.

Winger Hayes, 29, signed a new deal tying him to the Pittodrie side until 2019, having first joined from Inverness Caledonian Thistle in 2012.

The Dons had rejected bids from Cardiff City for the Republic of Ireland international, who has scored 25 goals in 190 Aberdeen appearances.

"I'm so pleased," said McInnes, 45, of Hayes' new deal.

"It's a huge boost for everybody - team-mates, supporters, myself - because there was a stage in January, certainly the Dundee game, the last game before the window closed, there was a feeling that it may well have been his last game. There was a real possibility of that.

"And the fact we have managed to get him, not just until the end of the season, but to commit beyond that, is great news.

"We try to work with all our players and pitch at the right level to keep them. We have always been quite good at that.

"The better the team does and the better individuals do within the team, it becomes more of a challenge to be able to keep everybody happy.

Aberdeen celebrate
Aberdeen went second in the Premiership after beating Partick Thistle last week

"But I spoke to Jonny continuously throughout January about where we were, if something didn't happen for him maybe to extend. So it was something he was willing to do."

Premiership rivals Ross County stand between Aberdeen and a place in the Scottish Cup quarter-finals with the sides meeting in Dingwall on Saturday in one of three all top-flight fifth-round ties.

Aberdeen have not won the tournament since 1990 but did reach the final of this season's League Cup, losing to Celtic.

"A strong cup run can help your league form as well," said McInnes, whose side are second in the Premiership.

"There is benefit for attendances and financial gain for the club. But, more than that, the supporters can get excited by a good strong cup run.

"I thought we suffered from that last season [losing in the fourth round].

"As good as we were in the league [finishing second in the Premiership], there was a feeling towards the end of the season that it wasn't quite the season we wanted to be, and a big part of that was not progressing as far as we wanted in the cups."

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