How close was Ryan Christie to another loan spell away from Celtic this season? Was it a make or break season for him at Celtic? Who knows, reports pre-season were that Rodgers wanted a clear out of fringe players. There was certainly an overload of midfielders at Celtic.
Christie did what every young fringe player has to do when it comes along, take your chance. He didn’t just take his chance, he head-locked it and made it impossible for anyone to take it from him. Ryan is one of Celtic’s big success stories so far this season, he is also an inspiration to the other fringe players at Celtic. (continues below…)
Johnny Hayes is one of those fringe players. He has had chances before and done ok. Ok just doesn’t cut it at breaking into the first team at Celtic. He has had his injury problems to deal with too. Today Johnny Hayes stood out. He stood out playing out of position as a left-back. His link-up play with Scott Sinclair was very noticeable. His energy grew as the game went on and he went on an incredible run to set up James Forrest for his 13th goal of the season.
He certainly will give Brendan Rodgers something to think about come Thursday night after today’s performance. With Keiran Tierney still out injured and Izzy still struggling for full fitness Rodgers hand may be forced. If the Dubliner can put on a display like today he may join Ryan Christie and come out of the shadows.
He certainly caught Brendan Rodgers attention. Post-Match Rodgers told BBC Sport:
“Special mention for Jonny Hayes – hasn’t played a great deal but came into the game and played very well. Created an assist for James [Forrest] and he was excellent. Delighted for him.”