Mikey Johnston working hard in training to aid Celtic return

By John McGinley

December 24, 2020

Mikey Johnston is enjoying being back in the Celtic fold, after getting more minutes from the bench against Ross County on Wednesday night.

Johnston has been absent from action for the vast majority of 2020.

He injured himself against St Johnstone in January, requiring ten months of rehabilitation.

Celtic manager Neil Lennon has been gradually reintroducing him to first-team affairs.

The winger got half an hour against Hearts in the recent Scottish Cup Final. He also came on as a substitute for 20 minutes against the Staggies last night.

The Scotland under-21 international is overjoyed, telling FourFourTwo: “It is amazing coming back in this week. It was a big occasion and to come back at this time was brilliant.

“I am working on my fitness, trying to get back to full fitness and match fitness.

“I am working hard in training to get back to that level.”

Important for Celtic?

Neil Lennon’s team aren’t exactly blessed for options on the flanks right now.

A long-term injury to James Forrest has been a frustrating sub-plot to the season, with the manager having to opt for Ryan Christie and Jeremie Frimpong on the right flank.

Johnston primarily plays on the left but adds attacking width and skill to the team.

The upcoming year could be a massive one for him at the club. His challenge will be finding consistency and finally taking up a mantle as a Celtic regular.

Mikey Johnston in Celtic training / (Photo by Craig Williamson/SNS Group via Getty Images)

If he can do that, he can be a hugely important player for the club over the coming seasons.

The way he stepped up to score a penalty in the shoot-out at the weekend was a measure of his mentality. That wasn’t an easy thing to do after so long out of the game.

Hopefully, that moment and his increasing minutes, lead to a Celtic star sooner rather than later.