Celtic: Brendan Rodgers praises 'excellent' new boy Jonny Hayes

Jonny Hayes
Jonny Hayes joined Celtic from Aberdeen on a three-year deal

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers hailed the impact of new signing Jonny Hayes in his side's pre-season friendly draw with Rapid Vienna.

Hayes, who signed from Aberdeen this summer, came on as a second-half substitute on Saturday and won the penalty that earned Celtic a 1-1 draw.

"That's what Jonny can do," Rodgers told the Celtic website.

"He has that ability to go inside and outside and I thought he was excellent when he came on."

Brazilian striker Joelinton gave Rapid a first-half lead in Austria but Moussa Dembele levelled from 12 yards after Hayes, who was among 11 changes made on 63 minutes by Rodgers, won the spot-kick.

"I like players with that very fast profile in the wide areas as he can go from one end of the pitch to the other very quickly," Rodgers added of Hayes.

"He made an incredible run from deep to get onto the ball and then go and create the penalty.

"He looked a real threat and he worked hard defensively. He's always an outlet with his quality."

Rodgers was delighted to see French striker Dembele getting a goal following his injury absence towards the end of last season as Celtic sealed an unbeaten domestic treble.

Moussa Dembele
Moussa Dembele missed the end of last season due to a hamstring injury

And he was quick to praise his players' mentality against a Rapid side that reached the Austrian Cup final last term.

"It was another game, similar to last pre-season, where we went behind and, even though it's only pre-season and we are still trying to find fitness, we have that mentality that we don't want to lose," Rodgers added.

"It was a good evening for it, very hot and warm but the players put the work in and ended up drawing the game.

"We changed the shape and played 3-4-3 for the final half-hour and the boys who came in were excellent. They really dominated the ball, pressed the game in numbers much better and there was a better tempo to our game, and we looked a much better threat then going forward."

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