"Going really well"; On-loan Celtic star reflects on the early positives of temporary exit
On-loan Celtic winger Mikey Johnston has opened up on the early stages of his temporary spell in Portugal with Vitoria de Guimaraes.
The 23-year-old made the surprise loan move towards the end of the summer transfer window, choosing to go test himself within another European league.
Nine games into the Portuguese season, the majority of Johnston’s appearances have come off the bench. However, the winger is slowly building up his match fitness and sharpness.
Last Saturday, the Celtic academy graduate made his first start for his new club in cup action, and he marked that occasion by producing two first-half goals as they went on to win 3-1.
Now, there is a real sense in Portugal that Johnston is ready to kick on and make more appearances from the start for Vitoria de Guimaraes in what could be a crucial spell for his Celtic career.
Following on from his first two goals for the club, Johnston opened up in an interview, discussing how he has settled into life at his new temporary club.
The winger is targeting more minutes going forward following on from his transitional period, and also revealed how impressed he was with the club’s support, comparing them to the Parkhead faithful.
He said [Vitoriasc]: “Individually, it was good to have more minutes of play. For me, it was important, I lost a lot of playing time in the adjustment period, the goals were a bonus and helped us move on to the next stage, which was the most important.
“These games can be cool, we encountered a lot of challenges, but we’ve been able to overcome them, and now we’re looking to the future.”
“I’ve come to play, I hope this possession, these goals, and the opportunities I’ve had will make it possible to maintain this level so I can help the team, but I need to do this more regularly on weekends.”
“The group welcomed me very well because I’m also trying to learn Portuguese, which always helps, and I’m a sociable person, I like to talk to everyone, I’m trying my best to get to know everyone, and it’s going really well.”
“I’m very impressed, I wasn’t expecting so much passion from our fans. I was used to the Celtic fans, whom I like very much, and the Vitória fans welcomed me very well, and I’m really enjoying the way they support us, and I know they will do it next Sunday.
“We have a tough challenge, being a game with a lot of history. I know he’s one of Vitoria’s great rivals, so it’s a big game and a great opportunity for us to be at our best level.”
Mikey Johnston is setting up the perfect opportunity to kick-start start Celtic career.
Before heading out on loan, Johnston signed a further years extension on his contract, which suggests he still has a long-term future at Celtic.
Ange Postecoglou has previously talked up the Scotland under-21 international’s ability and potential for the future. So you would imagine the Celtic boss is keen to see him do well whilst out on loan.
Having made just one start, the wideman is already beginning to impress his teammates and the supporters of his new club.
So, this loan spell has certainly provided Johnston with the opportunity to kick-start his career at Parkhead once again after a disappointing few years through injury.
Hopefully, now that he is up to speed, we can see him pick up plenty more minutes in the starting line-up over in Portugal.
In other news, Harry Kewell discloses his initial Ange Postecoglou ‘wow’ factor upon Celtic arrival.