Belfast Telegraph

Linfield v Celtic: Jonny Hayes catches Brendan Rodgers' eye as Hoops gear up for Blues clash

 

By Paul Burrows

Brendan Rodgers could unleash Jonny Hayes on Linfield after watching his new signing open his Hoops account on Saturday.

The £1.3million capture from Aberdeen netted his first goal for his new club during the 9-0 romp over Shamrock Rovers.

And Rodgers reckons the Dubliner showed plenty to be excited about on his return to his home city.

He said: "When you're an attacking player and come to your new club it's important to get off the mark early.

"He has settled in very well off the field. He is a good guy, a mature guy, and he has mixed in really well over the last couple of weeks. We don't need to rush him but he's going to make a big contribution to the squad and you saw that in the half hour he was on, when he showed his pace and his crossing ability. He has an eye for a goal.

"He got his goal and that will make him happy and he can continue to build on that throughout the season."

The Hoops sent out an ominous warning to Linfield ahead of Friday's Champions League qualifier in Belfast -and Rodgers was delighted to see his team in such ruthless form.

"It's the identity, the trademark of the team which we have created," he said.

"They never relaxed and kept working. I thought defensively, fundamentally, we were very good in terms of our pressing.

"We were very good in some of our play and some of the goals we scored. It was very pleasing. It was only our fourth game but I can see the development in how the team is building up."

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