Now that he has a taste for regular silverware returning winger Jonny Hayes is determined to secure more trophy glory in his second spell at Aberdeen.
The 32-year-old accepted a significant financial sacrifice to seal his return to the Dons with the club set to suffer £10 million losses due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Hayes won every domestic honour during his three years spell at Celtic and is back at Pittodrie, where he starred from 2012 to 17, to bag more winners medals.
Aberdeen beat off competition from newly-promoted Dundee United and a number of English Championship clubs including Reading and Preston to secure Hayes on a two-year-deal.
Hayes was a free agent having left Celtic earlier this summer.
The winger moved from Aberdeen to Celtic in a £1.3m deal in summer 2017.
He said: “If I come back to Aberdeen and win some medals that would be ideal.
“The club deserves it.
“Obviously there has been a few near misses with finals and a few close results that have not gone their way.
“It would be nice to come back and win some trophies.
“The club are pushing forward and the chairman wants to push Aberdeen as far as he can.
“Everyone is going in the right direction.
“Whatever it may be – golf, football whatever I don’t like losing.
“It is a good trait to have and the manager knows that.”
— Aberdeen FC (@AberdeenFC) June 23, 2020
Aberdeen have entered into talks with players, management and staff about temporary wage cuts to offset the £10m losses predicted due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Those talks are ongoing.
With the club in such a precarious financial position, Hayes had to make a financial sacrifice to rejoin a club he has retained a close affinity with since leaving.
He said: “Myself and the club were willing to come to an agreement to make the deal happen that was suitable for all parties.
“Obviously it was tough in the current climate with Covid-19, but everyone wanted to make it happen.
“Thankfully we did.”
Hayes won the League Cup with Aberdeen in 2014 and in his final appearance for the club netted the opener in Aberdeen’s 2-1 Scottish Cup final defeat to Celtic in summer 2017.
The Republic of Ireland international admits a return to Aberdeen at some point was “always on the cards” and that his strong bond with manager Derek McInnes was pivotal in securing that.
He said: “He (McInnes) was a major factor in wanting to come back. We always kept in touch.
“Anytime the club or I have had a good result then we have always exchanged text messages.
“Every time we see each other we have a chat.
“I know what he expects and I have grown as a player over the last few years.
“I think I will slot back in terms of being able to help the manager with the level of expectation he wants and demands from the club.”
Hayes was a creative winger during his five years at Aberdeen, but featured at left-back for Celtic last season.
What position he will primarily occupy next season has yet to be discussed yet.
He said: “The whole left-back thing is just another string to the bow. I have not really spoken with the manager in terms of where he sees me exactly.
“We have talked about formations and certain tactics within those formations.
“He has not told me he wants me to play here, there or anywhere.
“I don’t think I need to be told that as I’m old enough to know what is expected wherever I play.
“Myself and the manager have been on the same page for a number of years now so I don’t think it will take too much adapting.”
Hayes insists his relationship with the Red Army was also a factor in sealing his return.
He said: “For me it was something that was probably always on the cards.
“Anytime a transfer window came up Aberdeen always seemed to come up.
“I always kept in touch with Aberdeen fans.
“When I left it wasn’t forced. It was something new.
“When the manager phoned and said the club were interested it was always my preferred choice.”