Rooney’s Hayes thoughts and

High wages but slim­mer hope of sil­ver­ware and Euro­pean slot

The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands) - - Sport - Alex Martin re­ports

“Away from the foot­ball, Jonny has a young fam­ily and play­ers need to feel set­tled”

The head or the heart? Aberdeen mid­fielder Jonny Hayes is a wanted man as the Jan­uary trans­fer win­dow starts to gain mo­men­tum, with Cardiff City the first to turn ad­mir­ing glances into an of­fer of £500,000.

Must try harder was the re­sponse from the Dons.

No fig­ure has been set for the Ir­ish­man’s sig­na­ture but oth­ers are also watch­ing on from afar and the like­li­hood of es­ca­lat­ing of­fers is in­creas­ing.

It’s the Jan­uary win­dow and in­creas­ingly anx­ious own­ers and man­agers will go to any lengths to achieve their am­bi­tions.

Dons at­tacker Adam Rooney be­gan his ca­reer with Stoke City when the Pot­ter­ies club was in the lower reaches of English foot­ball, but earned a lu­cra­tive re­turn south when his goals for Ca­ley This­tle saw him take the road to Birm­ing­ham City fol­low­ing the Blues’ rel­e­ga­tion from the top flight.

The two Ir­ish play­ers are shar­ing a room in Dubai and Rooney be­lieves there will be twists and turns in this tale be­fore the win­dow closes, with a move south for the 29-year-old Hayes not a fore­gone con­clu­sion. Yet.

Rooney said: “He doesn’t tell me much about what’s go­ing on.

“Ev­ery­one knows how im­por­tant Jonny is to the club. I don’t know what is hap­pen­ing with him but I hope he doesn’t go. I’m sure Jonny isn’t des­per­ate to get away.

“For a long time it has been my­self, Jonny and Niall (McGinn) play­ing up front. We have a good con­nec­tion. I knew Jonny from when we were at In­ver­ness and Niall is a great man to play with.

“We have a good un­der­stand­ing and they are very im­por­tant play­ers for the team.

“If some­thing does hap­pen then I am sure the man­ager will be work­ing hard to re­place and even try to im­prove the squad.”

Scot­tish Premier­ship play­ers can eas­ily quadru­ple their wages with a move to the se­cond tier in Eng­land but, hav­ing tasted life in lower leagues with the likes of Yeovil, Ch­ester­field, Bury, Swin­don and Old­ham, Rooney knows it is not all honey and choco­lates.

McGinn, who is out of con­tract at the end of the sea­son, will test the mar­ket in Eng­land be­fore mak­ing any de­ci­sion, with Aberdeen man­ager Derek McInnes po­ten­tially hav­ing to re­place two of his best three at­tack­ing play­ers.

Rooney said: “The de­ci­sion about a move has to be taken care­fully. There are thoughts about life away from the foot­ball. Jonny has a young fam­ily and play­ers need to feel set­tled.

“The Cham­pi­onship is a good stan­dard of foot­ball. If it were a move to a Premier League club it would be a no-brainer, but no one wants to be strug­gling against rel­e­ga­tion and League 1 can be a tough league.

“Play­ers have to take so many things into ac­count. There is a re­ally good set of lads at Aberdeen. We all get on and that’s prob­a­bly one of the rea­sons he has per­formed so well for the club.

“What­ever he does I will wish him all the best. He doesn’t owe any­one any­thing and has done very well for Aberdeen.”

The Dons will com­plete their stay in Dubai with a match against Uzbek side Bun­y­o­d­kor to­mor­row.

Then it’s back to the chal­lenge of win­ning the Scot­tish Cup and fin­ish­ing se­cond in the league be­hind cham­pi­ons-elect Celtic.

The mem­o­ries of the 2014 League Cup win linger for Rooney, who be­lieves the re­al­is­tic prospect of more sil­ver­ware will be prey­ing on Hayes’ mind.

He added: “We aim to be chal­leng­ing for cups ev­ery year and play­ing in

SAFE HAR­BOUR: Adam Rooney is en­joy­ing the ben­e­fits of life

Peter Pawlett and Mark Reynolds jump to it

Graeme Shin­nie and An­drew Con­si­dine

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.