Mikey Johnston – “He lets the mental side of the game get the better of him,” Neil Lennon

Neil Lennon has backed Mikey Johnston to go on and build on his performance yesterday afternoon in Perth against St Johnstone and spark Celtic into life in the process. The tricky winger has been on the periphery at Celtic Park for some time now and is viewed by many as someone who is unable to get that fitness and consistency in his game to become a key player for the Hoops.

The Lurgan-born Celtic legend, Lennon, helped to bring Mikey on when he took over the reins from Brendan Rodgers back in 2019. Rodgers was the man who introduced him to the first-team but then Lennon decided to give him his big chance. Mikey caught the eye back in September of 2019, when he set-up Odsonne Edouard for a lovely goal at Ibrox with a sensational through ball which split theRangers defence wide open.

However, Mikey hasn’t had his sorrows to seek throughout his time in a Celtic shirt, as he’s been hit with successive injury issues in the last few years. Patience has been running out for some time with the Republic of Ireland star and there are some who have already given up on his undoubted talent and potential. The player himself though reckons he can have the desired impact at his boyhood club that he and the supporters hoped and wished for in the beginning.

He will no doubt be buoyed by his display against Craig Levein and his men and old boss Lennon sees this as the last dance for the Scots-born Irish international. Speaking to PLZ Soccer on his former protege, he said: “He gets very frustrated very quickly if things aren’t going for him.

“That overrides what he should be doing. He lets the mental side of the game get the better of him. He’s always been gifted despite a horrendous run of injuries. He wasn’t featuring at all but he’s not a young kid anymore. He might be feeling this is his last chance saloon at Celtic and he has to not just play, but play consistently well.”

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.

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