Celtic winger Mikey Johnston’s return to action has been a lot more prosperous than many would’ve expected.
The winger has just exploded into life over the last week with two exciting cameo displays against Rennes and Ross County respectively. Johnston had previously been out for nearly four months with an injury.
He started off with a superb, energy-filled display against the French side on Thursday night. As well as his superb give-and-go goal with Olivier Ntcham, he created one or two further opportunities with his quick feet. It was the same again yesterday as he darted down the left to score a fine solo effort before coming close again late on.
His form has impressed many. Neil Lennon is one of them. And speaking after yesterday’s 4-1 routing of County, he hinted to Celtic TV that he could be in for a big week.
“Mikey comes on (against County) and he’s in a good place at the minute. Again it’s softly-softly with him in terms of getting him on and off the pitch.
“But that’s two sub appearances and he’s come on and made an outstanding contribution. So I’m delighted with him and the quality of his play is very high at the minute.
“That augers well for this week.”
Who is at the front of the line for Sunday?
In terms of the left-mid spot, you wouldn’t like us to rotate too much considering the importance of Sunday. Even though James Forrest is effective on the left with Ryan Christie making positive contributions down the right – it’s not a route we should go down.
That would mean there’s a spot available in Johnston’s position.
Lewis Morgan has done well in the last couple of games. But has he done well enough to start against Rangers? If we’re being honest with ourselves – no would be the answer. Especially considering the last two matches have seen him start as a false nine.
Lennon has revealed that he’s confident that Mohamed Elyounoussi will be ready for Sunday too. Speaking after the County game, he said the following:
“Moi should hopefully be training Wednesday/Thursday. So he’s got a good chance of making it.”
Elyounoussi hasn’t played since October 11th. It could be nearly a month by the time the Rangers game comes around. Even though Johnston has proven that time out isn’t always detrimental upon returning, it’s not a risk we should take.
Johnston seems best placed to get the nod against Rangers. Another positive contribution against Hamilton on Wednesday night would surely solidify that idea. Judging by Lennon’s comments, it certainly looks a goer.