ALISTAIR JOHNSTON is hoping St Johnstone feel the force as Celtic attempt to overcome their most recent Champions League disappointment.
The Canada World Cup right-back was part of the Hoops defence that folded in the final eight minutes as Lazio struck twice in Rome to send Brendan Rodgers’ side into European oblivion.
For the second consecutive season, the Hoops have lost four and drawn one of the first five games of their section at this level and once more the final match is meaningless.
Last time out, it was Shakhtar Donetsk in Glasgow. This time around, it’s Feyenoord at Parkhead a week on Wednesday.
DESPAIR…Alistair Johnston after the 2-0 loss from Lazio.
But Johnston maintains a positive outlook and has warned the Perth club they could face a backlash tomorrow just like Aberdeen did when the side returned from Madrid after their six-goal pummelling from Atletico last month.
Five days later, the Dons provided the opposition and it was their turn to be on the receiving end of a 6-0 hammering.
Johnston said: “It’s similar to how we felt when we went to Atletico Madrid and had a really difficult match there and Aberdeen felt the force.
“It will be a similar mentality and feeling where we want to come out of the gate strong as that performance in Lazio doesn’t define us and we have more to show.
“It’s a difficult ground to play at and not an easy team, either, who are physical and strong and can pose a threat.
“So, I think we will come out hot and if we do that then we have the quality to get the result we need.”
DELIGHT…Alistair Johnston after the 3-0 win over Livingston.
Reflecting on the failure in the Olimpico Stadium, the defender, speaking to Celtic TV, continued: “It was disappointing for sure, but at the same time the campaign isn’t over yet with another home match.
“We would have loved to have gone into that match with something to play for, so that’s frustrating.
“As a whole, there were some matches where we performed well and others we let drift by us, specifically that last one which felt like we hadn’t laid a punch.
“We would have wanted more points and the campaign is not done and we want to aim to finish on a high note with Feyenoord at home.”
Johnston added: “It’s a busy Christmas period with a match pretty much every three days and we need to focus on the league.
“We know the only way to get back into the Champions League is by winning the league and, hopefully, we can be back next season.”