Jonny Hayes tells Aberdeen to show their best in cup final

Aberdeen's Jonny Hayes and Celtic's Emilio Izaguirre
Jonny Hayes (left) was part of the team that lost to Celtic in this season's League Cup final

Jonny Hayes has urged Aberdeen to "be the best we can" in the Scottish Cup final against Celtic.

The Dons were beaten 3-0 by the same opposition in November's League Cup final.

And Derek McInnes's side have lost three times to the Premiership winners in the league so far this season.

"There's no getting away from the fact we were very poor in the League Cup final, that wasn't us that day," said player of the year nominee Hayes.

"But we're not there to stop Celtic's treble; we're there to try win it for ourselves and our football club.

"You see when we won the League Cup [in 2014] and in Edinburgh when Hibs won [the Scottish Cup] last year, it doesn't go unnoticed.

"For me, it's the biggest one-off game in Scotland, I'm sure a lot of people feel the same.

"We'll go and look to improve - we certainly can't get any worse than the League Cup final - so if we can go and be the best we can on the day, it gives us a shot at winning.

"There's still four league games for boys to earn a place in the fixture everyone looks forward to most in the Scottish calendar."

Hayes and Celtic trio Stuart Armstrong, Moussa Dembele and Scott Sinclair are in the running for the PFA Scotland Premiership player of the year prize.

"It's obviously nice to get a bit of recognition, especially from fellow pros," said Hayes. "I'd be lying if I said I was expecting it. I'm more surprised than anything.

"[Celtic] have had a great season individually and as a team. It's surprising to see anybody other than a Celtic player [among the nominees]. Delighted to be down and be part of it."

Aberdeen are bidding to finish as Premiership runners-up for a third season in a row and lead third-placed Rangers by nine points with four games to go.

"We've had a battle on for second now since October-November time, and if we can put that to bed and cement second spot it'll be a decent enough achievement," added Hayes.

"Obviously, everyone wants winners' medals, but we're playing second fiddle to a pretty decent Celtic team this year.

"It's been a difficult one. I wouldn't say it's been disheartening, but they've gone on and done what they've set out to do, and no-one's been able to compete."

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