“I thought I could come back and still play here,” Mikey Johnston

Mikey Johnston caught up with Celtic TV after the game yesterday afternoon in Perth and was adamant in his belief that he’s always believed he could come back to Celtic Park after his loan and make an impact. The 24-year-old spent last year in Portugal with Vitoria Guimaraes and managed to have a productive time at his temporoary home.

So much so, that the heirarchy and head coach wanted to keep the winger on but couldn’t muster together the kind of finances required to prise him away from the Glasgow giants. Ange Postecoglou clearly saw something in the player – as has all his previous bosses at Parkhead – when he decided to give the trickster a new contract extension so that he could still be kept at close range for the time being, although he was abroad for a short time.

Brendan Rodgers was looking for Mikey to prove his mettle when he arrived back on the scene this summer and challenged him to firstly stay fit and show he can handle the rigours and demands of the men’s professional game at a big club.

Unfortunately, the player was injured again and had to face another stint on the sidelines. Despite this, Stephen Kenny still decided to give him his first senior cap for the Republic of Ireland when he was fit enough and over his latest issue.

He’s went on to prove very useful in a poor Ireland side at times, as the wide-man has been one of the few bright sparks in a team devoid of talent and quality. This recent chance at his club has come about through an injury crisis hit squad and a lack of quality in reserve.

Football can be a funny old game sometimes and it’s been proven with Liam Scales already this season. Mikey impacted the game when he came off of the substitutes bench at the weekend and now he’s hoping he can sustain that focus and determination he had at McDiarmid Park.

Speaking to Celtic TV, he said: “Obviously it was a tough first half and in the second half we came out fighting and showed a bit more desire and managed to get the three points.” On the message his boss gave him at the break, he continued: “Not much to be fair. We were 1-0 down at half-time, so obviously you have to make an impact and I don’t need to be told that’s what I’m coming on for. I had a good year last year and I’ve been playing well at international level. I’m just enjoying myself, I’m confident in my body and confident in how I play football so I’m secure in how I am at the moment.

“It was really good (the loan spell), it’s a top league technically and physically as well and I definitely learned a lot in going away from home over there myself. I’m back here now and I just want to make an impact. Playing in big occasions and Euro qualifying games you’re expected to perform and there is a lot of pressure in the game just like the games here, so I feel like I’m used to it and I’m able to do it now. A lot of time people go on loan and they’re never seen again, but I thought I could come back and still play here. I feel that I can do it and it’s just taking it week by week. Hopefully the chances are going to come and I can take them.”

Paul Gillespie

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About Author

I'm a Garngad Bhoy through and through. My first ever Celtic game was a friendly against Italian side Parma at Celtic Park, in 2002. Currently a student of English Literature and Education at the University of Strathclyde for my sins. Favourite game would be a toss up between beating Manchester United with that Naka freekick, or the game against the Oldco when Hesselink scored in the dying seconds. I'm still convinced Cal Mac is wasted playing that far back.

1 Comment

  1. Let’s not get carried away with yourself here Mikey! You certainly made a difference on Sunday in the second 45 when you came on after half time.
    But there were still signs of your failure to be part of a team and be all about Mikey!
    No-one could ever doubt your skills. What you need to start to show us, and the boss is what you can bring to Celtic. Not what Celtic brings to Mikey!
    I think I speak for most Celtic fans in saying we love to see home grown talent come through our ranks.
    But it’s only happening if you get those sleeves up and play for the team. Only then will you shine through as a player who can make the difference.