JONNY HAYES was gutted to lose to former club Celtic after feeling Aberdeen had the measure of Ange Postecoglou’s side in Sunday’s game at Pittodrie, and he says naivety is the reason why the Dons are struggling so badly for results at the start of the season.

Hayes believes that Stephen Glass’s ploy to press Celtic high when they attempted to play out from the back was bearing fruit, and he felt that there was only going to be one winner once Lewis Ferguson had cancelled out Kyogo Furuhashi’s opener for the visitors.

As it turned out though, Joao Jota took advantage of some slack Aberdeen defending to tap home a late winning goal for Celtic, and Hayes was left cursing the individual errors that have become a hallmark of his team’s play once more.

“The game plan was to push right up and it was to see the best way of going about it,” Hayes said.

“It is still a learning curve with so many new players playing together.

“Our intent was to go and press their centre halves from the off and to play the game in their half. There were times when it worked well and you saw that with the pressure we put Joe (Hart) under.

“It is naivety and switching off the briefest second and players of that quality can pick you up and be a threat. That is where you get punished.

“We are disappointed. When we got the goal in the second half we got a bit of impetus and we sensed a bit of vulnerability and we felt that, like we were going to win the game.

“I wouldn’t call it a sucker punch but we showed a bit of naivety when we switched off. That has been our problem, fine lines and fine margins.

“They are costing us too many points at the moment.”

The defeat was Aberdeen’s fourth on the bounce in the Premiership, with Glass’s men languishing down in ninth place going into the international break.

Hayes believes though that things will soon be looking up for the Dons if they can improve their concentration.

“We are waiting on things to turn,” he said. “It is fine lines and little mistakes are costing us.

“It has been the case in the last few where we have been battered or outplayed. It has been silly mistakes and switching off at the wrong time has cost us goals and points.

“I don’t think we are playing badly bar the 30 minutes we played with 10 men against St Mirren.

“It is a case of keep doing what we are doing. We need to keep improving on the training field and hopefully the tide will turn.”