He’s had a lengthy spell away with injury over the past two seasons, yet Mikey Johnston refuses to be beaten.
Having made just eight appearances in the league from a possible thirty-eight last season, it would appear on the eye that Mikey Johnston had been out of favour under Neil Lennon, even throughout Celtic’s elongated periods of dire form last campaign.
Yet, having suffered injury setbacks, the Glaswegian is ready and raring to go – which could be vital to Celtic, given Moi Elyounoussi’s return to the South Coast and Ryan Christie’s seemingly inevitable departure either over the summer or in January 2022.
Having returned to injury and featuring in the pre-season friendly against Charlton Athletic, Johnston spoke to Celtic TV about the forthcoming season.
“It’s been good. It’s been tough training getting used to how the manager wants to work and stuff, it’s been good and a bit different. It’s been a great week.”
“I”ve obviously missed a lot of game time recently, so it’s good to get the games back into the legs again and just get fitness; that’s what pre season is for. I’ve had a lot of pain in the last year trying to get through the year; it was a year that I wanted to be involved in and it didn’t turn out the way everyone wanted which was hugely disappointing. But as I’ve said, I just have to pick myself up from where I was last year and try get in again.”
Johnston will be itching to play the Champions League qualifier against FC Midtjylland in a week’s time. Having been out of action for the first half of the season following a knee ligament injury, he first appeared over the Christmas period against Kilmarnock – meaning he missed the entirety of Celtic’s Europa League campaign. Yet, after just two starts and a total of 212 minutes in the league, his injury flared up again – making Mikey hungrier for success.
As a winger especially, if you beat someone it gives the fans a lift, and it gives you confidence and the team confidence.
“Playing in Europe is what everybody wants, all the fans want us to be in Europe this year and it will be a big bonus if we make the Champions League and that’s what we all want to do.”
There will be 2,000 fans in for the game against the Danish side – something of a rarity, given that Celtic last played infront of a home crowd in March 2020. With the biggest capacity in the league (and indeed Scottish football), Johnston has found that his team-mates definitely missed fans – citing them as a huge difference.
“Last year it was a huge miss not having fans in; no-one can deny it. It was probably worse for us not having fans compared to anyone else; this year it will be a huge lift just to get everyone back in the stadium again and get a bit of normality again. As a winger especially, if you beat someone it gives the fans a lift, and it gives you confidence and the team confidence.”
🗣️ “Obviously I’ve missed a lot of game-time recently, so it’s good to get the game-time into the legs again, and just get the fitness – that’s what pre-season is for.”@mikeyjohnston10 is determined to hit the ground running when the new campaign kicks off 💪
🟢 #COYBIG 🟢
— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) July 13, 2021
“All the academy boys have been since they’ve come in with great attitudes, and that is all you want from a young player – you have to come up, work hard and show you can compete with the first team players. It is a strange feeling being a bit older than the academy, but I had a lot of help coming through and people took to me right away and helped me coming through and I need to act the same for the new young boys.”
“I want to get more game time, and get more fitness as I’ve missed a lot of games so it is the perfect opportunity for me to get underway.”