Celtic winger Jonny Hayes has insisted that he is ready and willing to fight for his place at the club over the coming months.

Signed from Aberdeen this summer, Hayes has so far been in and out of the Hoops side and the return of Patrick Roberts to the club will ensure there remains ample competition in front of him with both Roberts and James Forrest competing for the position.

In the final weeks of the transfer window there were whispers that Hayes was set for a loan move to Cardiff, something that he was quick to refute. 

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And he believes that he has the necessary attributes to force his way into Brendan Rodgers’ side. 

“You always know that when you are coming to a club of this size that you need to fight for your place,” he said. 

“It was always going to take me a bit of time to get used to that and used to a new club.

“The competition here is fierce, of course it is. But that is why they are a club who are successful and winning so much. You have people pushing one another all the time.”

And despite the fact that Roberts will be a rival for the position, Hayes was delighted to see the English winger return to the club.

“I played against Patrick last year and he was outstanding,” said Hayes.

“That is what you want. We are going into the Champions League, we want to stay successful in Scotland and you want to have as strong a squad as you possibly can.

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“It doesn’t matter who would be here – there will always be competition for places. It’s about how you deal with that and how you look to raise your own game.”

The demands of the Champions League, which kicks off next Tuesday night for Celtic against PSG, will mean that between now and Christmas, the Parkhead side will be fighting a two-pronged attack on domestic and European football.

It is then that the full squad will be expected to be used with players rested, particularly on those weeks when the club will be looking at three games in seven days.

For the likes of Hayes then, there will be a chance to come to the fore although the player himself is eager to sample the atmosphere of the big occasion.

“Whether you’re a football fan or not, everybody knows about the atmosphere of Champions League nights at Celtic Park. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want a part of that.

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“They are such special nights. I have watched  them on television and the place looks as though it is rocking so it is what you want, really. It is why you play football.They will be special nights and I can’t wait for them.”

Hayes was on the bench for Martin O’Neill’s Republic of Ireland side last night against Serbia – and he joked that O’Neill was looking for the 
rundown on life in Glasgow.

“I spoke to him a bit before the move but at that point really it was just speculation,” said Hayes. “He knows what it is like at Celtic and the 
pressure there is to go out and do the name of the club justice.

“The one thing about being in the Champions League is the amount of people asking me for tickets – I was just surprised he wasn’t joining the queue!”

Few would give Celtic much hope against the might of PSG next week given the manner in which the French side have splashed outrageous sums on Neymar £198m from Barcelona and Kylian Mbappe – who has been taken on loan to get around Fifa’s financial fair play issues but who the club are obliged to fork out £165.5m for next summer.

Hayes, however, believes Celtic will never go into a game thinking of anything other than how to give a positive account of themselves.

And this weekend’s draw between France and Luxembourg in a World Cup qualifier will certainly have added credence to the theory that anything can be possible in a one-off game.

“The players in our dressing room have a particular kind of mentality,” said Hayes. “They have a belief in themselves but there is also a mental aspect to every game that is about winning, no matter the circumstances.

“A lot of that comes down from the manager but a lot also comes from the club and knowing  the expectations.”