Mikey Johnston has been an outsider looking in at Celtic throughout 2020, though the situation hasn’t been his fault.
Picking up a serious injury against St Johnstone in January, he’s now been missing from the Celtic squad for ten months, rehabilitating and getting himself back up to peak fitness.
Missing the entire pre-season, he’s a long way behind his teammates but is closing in on gaining minutes on the pitch over the next couple of weeks.
Having been given his own personal training routine, it’s been a lonely road for him at Lennoxtown, but he can’t wait to get in amongst it all again.
Speaking to The Celtic View this week (25/11 print edition, page 22), the winger said: “It’s hard doing it alone. You’re gubbed after the running session and then you need to go and do more, but that’s what builds mental toughness and character. I know I’ll get through it and be better for it at the end.
“Usually I’d play some games with the reserves at this point but there aren’t any games for them right now. We’re in our bubble and they’re in their bubble.
“Hopefully, over the next couple of weeks, I can get some minutes and build on them week-to-week.”
Johnston has been a notable absentee.
After the departure of Jonny Hayes and Scott Sinclair, Celtic don’t really have stand-out options on the left flank at the moment, beyond one regular starter.
Mohamed Elyounoussi has been left alone to hold down the fort, but could do with some competition. With a busy upcoming schedule ahead, some respite for the Norwegian international wouldn’t go amiss either.
The Scotland U21 international has had consistency issues while emerging into the first-team, but with 11 goals and eight assists in 48 appearances, he’s still made a fair contribution.
Everyone will be hoping to see him flourish and take a step to the next level after he gets a run of games under his belt.
The winger is at a critical stage of his development.