Barkas and Johnston step up Celtic recoveries in class Saturday training video

By David Walton

March 27, 2021

Vasilis Barkas and Mikey Johnston are stepping up their returns from injury after Celtic posted a class Saturday training update.

Barkas has only recently been back in matchday squads once again. However, he hasn’t played a competitive match since the 2-2 draw at Livingston back in January. He was an unused sub against Dundee Utd and Rangers in the last two matches.

Johnston, meanwhile, hasn’t made the last five matchday squads. Despite Celtic crying out for a left-winger, he’s been left crocked and hasn’t been seen in a squad since February’s 2-1 win vs St Johnstone.

However, today, Celtic published a training video of social media with both players heavily involved. Barkas was seen making a fine save during a training match. Johnston, meanwhile, was also in the thick of things as he stepped up the cardio work.

Neither man was selected by their international teams for the current break. No surprises either given their recent injury woes.

Notable takeaways from Celtic training video, Barkas and Johnston not the only plus points

Of course, it’s not only Barkas and Johnston’s inclusions in first-team training that was a plus. Celtic fans were also given a glimpse of young Adam Montgomery getting himself involved. Albian Ajeti, Armstrong Oko-Flex, and Ewan Henderson were all captured. Not to mention that youngster Ross Doohan looked in impressive form with his shot-stopping.

But it was mainly promising to see the likes of Barkas and Johnston continuing to build up their fitness. Vasilis will still be hoping to make his mark at Parkhead, especially with a new manager coming in this summer.

As for Johnston, we’ve struggled badly for options down the left. If he’s fit for next weekend’s home clash vs Falkirk, he has to be considered for action. Especially considering our only real left-wing option, Mohamed Elyounoussi, is often used as a second-striker.

Mikey Johnston will be Celtic’s only available left-winger next season / (Photo by Craig Williamson/SNS Group via Getty Images)

You could argue that the current tactics just haven’t suited Johnston. But when you consider there’s a place for James Forrest, a right-winger, in John Kennedy’s teams, then it must be the same down the left with Mikey.

Many of the Celtic first-team players are away on international duty. Therefore, the training video was bereft of our main talents. But it was still good to get a sight of the fringe players and youngsters who were clearly in good spirits.

As for Barkas and Johnston, let’s see if either get the opportunities they need before the season is out.

In other news, Chris Sutton has been left wondering about Celtic’s approach to re-signing Scott Brown.