MIKEY JOHNSTON has received a blunt message from Brendan Rodgers: Do your talking on the pitch!

The Republic of Ireland winger has gone on record as saying he believes he can make a difference to the side.

Johnston, who spent last season on loan at Portuguese top-flight club Vitoria Guimaraes, has yet to start a game this time out and has made three substitute appearances.

The 24-year-old wide Bhoy was injured at the campaign’s kick-off and made his first top-side outing in the goalless draw against Hibs at Easter Road in October.

ON THE RUN…Mikey Johnston chases back as Lazio force play in Celtic’s 2-0 loss in Rome.

He came on just after the hour mark for James Forrest against Lazio in Rome on Tuesday and showed glimpses of the form that persuaded his manager to put him in the first team as a teenager during the Irishman’s first stint in charge.

Reacting to the positive noises coming from his player, Rodgers, speaking to the Daily Record, said: “That’s what you want to hear!

“But they get a chance every day in training and in the games. You do your talking on the pitch.

“That’s where you’re judged.”

Johnston will be hoping to get the nod to start against St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park in the High Noon shoot-out tomorrow.

Long-terms crocks Liel Abada, Reo Hatate and Daizen Maeda will be missing again, but Luis Palma, who was suspended for the Euro tie in Rome, is likely to return to first-team duty.

Marco Tilio, the £2million Australian summer recruit, made a cameo first apperance in the 1-1 draw with Motherwell last weekend, will be among the stand-by squad.

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