Neil Lennon updates Celtic fans on Mikey Johnston situation

By David Walton

August 7, 2019

Mikey Johnston’s omission from the Celtic squad has been explained by manager Neil Lennon tonight.

Johnston was unfortunately left out of selection for tonight’s 1-1 draw in Cluj. The third qualifying round first-leg tie provided us with our most difficult match of the campaign so far.

Celtic went behind midway through the first half thanks to a quick break from the hosts. However, a fine James Forrest leveler before the break gave us the advantage we need heading into Tuesday’s return leg at Parkhead.

Mikey Johnston missed tonight’s match in Romania (Vagelis Georgariou/Action Plus via Getty Images)

If Johnston had the chance to feature, we may have even left Romania with an even better result under our belts. Lennon, however, took to the BBC pre-match (19:00) to explain what’s wrong with the talented left-winger.

“Mikey Johnston was a little bit tight yesterday. Lewis Morgan will step in for Mikey.”

Johnston’s omission sounds precautionary for Celtic

Hopefully, this isn’t anything too serious. We have far too many big games coming up for Johnston to be out for the long or medium-term.

The way Lenny describes it, it sounds as though it’s nothing to really worry about. With a bit of luck, he’s back for the clash with Motherwell on Saturday at noon.

The returning Lewis Morgan was given a shot in Johnston’s absence (Leila Coker/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Of course, if not, we found out that we have a more than ready replacement available. Lewis Morgan put in yet another fine shift against Cluj tonight. Darting up and down the left-wing, he was too pacey for the Romanians to deal with at times.

Morgan looks a lot more physical on the ball these days. He can take more when it comes to opponents trying to budge him off the ball. If he has to start at Fir Park this weekend, you would seriously fancy him to put in a good shift.

Johnston would’ve added even more to the Celtic attack tonight (Vagelis Georgariou/Action Plus via Getty Images)

But hopefully it’s not too long before Johnston is back. He’s the kind of talent we did miss tonight. If he had started, you could argue that we would’ve created a touch more and won the game.

So if he can be back for the second-leg, that’s what we should prioritise. It’s essential we get Johnston back up to speed for these qualifiers. As for Morgan, he’s more than good enough to take Johnston’s place at Fir Park.