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Jonny Hayes shares what Neil Lennon said to Celtic's players before Old-Firm derby

Jonny Hayes of Celtic during the Champions League second round first leg qualifying game between Linfield and Celtic at Windsor Park on July 14, 2017 in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Celtic managed to win the first Old-Firm derby of the season at the weekend.

Jonny Hayes of Celtic celebrates scoring with team mate Olivier Ntcham of Celtic in front of their fans as they beat Rangers 2-0 during the Ladbrokes Premiership match between Rangers and...

Celtic goalscorer Jonny Hayes has told the Glasgow Evening Times that Neil Lennon wanted his side to go and ‘set a mark’ early against Rangers at the weekend.

Celtic ran out 2-0 winners over their Glasgow rivals at Ibrox, as they struck the first blow of the season in the title race.

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The Bhoys were the dominant force for much of the contest, with Rangers struggling to create anything against Lennon’s side’s back four.

And Hayes has revealed that Lennon wanted Celtic to get on top of the game early on.

 

Hayes said: “The manager said we had to set a mark and a stamp on the game early. Don’t give away any early goals or silly chances and we managed to do that.”

Hayes was brought on as a substitute for Celtic during the match, and it was the £1 million man (Daily Mail), who completed the scoring.

Jonny Hayes of Celtic takes on Steven Davis of Rangers during the Ladbrokes Premiership match between Rangers and Celtic at Ibrox Stadium on September 1, 2019 in Glasgow, Scotland.

Hayes went round Allan McGregor in the final minutes to slot home for Celtic and round off their triumph, after Odsonne Edouard had put them in front.

Celtic had faced questions over whether Rangers were now the title favourites in recent weeks, but Lennon’s side’s performance was a statement that they remain the team to beat at the moment.

Celtic return to action after the international break, when they take on Hamilton.

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