Neil Lennon praises Mikey Johnston's early contribution

By Hamish Carton

July 3, 2019

Celtic boss Neil Lennon has picked out winger Mikey Johnston for some special early season praise. The 20-year-old has been the Hoops’ standout in their tour of Austria and Switzerland – playing well in all three matches.

Johnston is looking to kick on from a strong end to last season and he’ll be delighted to see the latest comments from his manager. The official Celtic website has some quotes from Lennon as he speaks highly of “catalyst” Johnston.

(Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

“There were some great performances and some great goals”, Lennon explained.

“I was really pleased with the control of the game from the young boys in first game. Obviously Mikey Johnston sets it all off.

“He’s been the catalyst for a lot of good things, whether that’s been in training or the games.

“For such a young team to play so well was very encouraging.”

(Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Lennon’s praise of Johnston is calculated

Lennon is right to single out the young Scottish winger for special praise. Johnston looks like he’s raring to go this season, as he looks to nail down a starting berth in the Northern Irishman’s team.

If Lennon takes one thing from Celtic’s short jaunt to central Europe, it should be that Johnston has a role to play this season. There has been loan interest in the 20-year-old in recent weeks and such an offer may have been appealing to the club not so long ago.

(photo by Ivan Arlandis/Action Plus via Getty Images)

However, now it’s clear that the youngster can make an impact in the here and now. Johnston has edged ahead of Scott Sinclair and Jonny Hayes in recent weeks and could do so further with some good displays in our upcoming qualifiers.

The winger should be given the opportunity to impress in Bosnia next week. We have to play our most in-form players at this stage of the season. There’s no point in playing someone who isn’t ready for the challenge.