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BRENDAN BACKS HAYES

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BRENDAN RODGERS is backing Jonny Hayes to meet the challenge of being a Celtic player.

The Republic of Ireland winger has been a bit-part performer at the Hoops since his £1.1million arrival from Aberdeen in the summer.

But Parkhead boss Rodgers admitted he has no concerns about the 30-year-old flier eventually delivering.

He said: “It was never going to be easy for him. It’s just about time.

“He was one of the star players at Aberdeen, but when you come into a squad that’s already winning and developing that is never easy.

“But he has settled in well. He understood his role coming here – we’ve a lot of games and he can play a couple of positions.

“He has done fairly well in the games he’s been involved in, but I know his expectancy is to become even better and that will happen in time.”

Hayes has been forced to take a backseat with the loan arrival of Paddy Roberts and the form of James Forrest.

But Rodgers plans to give him his opportunity as the games stack up.

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