Jonny Hayes ‘went shopping’ while Hearts & Celtic played

You won’t find anyone at Pittodrie publicly predicting a genuine championship challenge and Jonny Hayes is so laid back about the prospect that he didn’t even know rivals Celtic were playing Hearts last Sunday.

Jonny Hayes: Doesn't watch football games on TV. Picture: SNS
Jonny Hayes: Doesn't watch football games on TV. Picture: SNS

That draw at Tynecastle came 24 hours after Aberdeen failed to get the win against Inverness Caley Thistle that would have kept them at the top of the table ahead of this evening’s fixtures.

As it was, Hearts’ last-minute leveller prevented the champions extending their lead to four points but the Irishman was oblivious to the drama unfolding in Edinburgh as his only connection with football is playing it.

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“I didn’t even know the Celtic score on Sunday until a mate texted me saying ‘great finish, that’s a good result’,” said Hayes. “I went into town with my missus and then I was out walking my dogs and didn’t even know the game was on if I’m being honest.

“I shut off everything football-related as soon as I’m away from the stadium. I don’t watch Match of the Day or anything like that. I don’t even have Sky Sports at home to watch the matches. I’m one of a minority but it doesn’t interest me to sit at home watching football all day. I don’t mind a bit of golf or horse racing but I’m quite happy just to switch off. That approach helps me focus on Aberdeen. The last live match I watched was our match against Hearts but apart from that I couldn’t tell you. I don’t even watch Republic of Ireland – it’s quite boring!”

Aberdeen round off 2015 by facing Partick Thistle at home, where only Celtic and St Johnstone twice have recorded away wins this year. Hayes added: “We’ve only lost a couple of games all year which is a good record and if we’re picking up a lot of points at home that can only help us in the long run.”

Mark Reynolds is expected to return tonight and Willo Flood is also available after missing the weekend match with a virus.

Meanwhile, Liam Lindsay insists Partick can create a new top-flight club record tonight. The Jags are aiming for five wins in a row and the defender said:“It’s not impossible to beat Aberdeen as there have been so many shock results this season.

“Kilmarnock drew with Celtic and it’s another example of a league where it’s down to which side turns up on the day so we believe we can go to Aberdeen and take the three points.”