DANNY McGRAIN and Davie Hay were two players who revolutionised the right-back position at Celtic.
The relentless double-act were rugged, determined defenders, but also became auxiliary wingers in Jock Stein’s teams. The club legends displayed true grit every time they donned the hoops jersey.
In his best-selling autobiography, ‘The Quiet Assassin‘, which was co-written by Celtic book author Alex Gordon, Hay revealed that his favourite position in the side was the No.2 spot.
However, Stein eventually moved the player’s natural combative skills into midfield to leave McGrain free to continue in the right wing beat.
The Hoops have had notable players in the position over the years in true professionals such as Tom Boyd and Jackie McNamara – and early indications show that Canada’s World Cup defender Alistair Johnston has all the natural attributes to become the Hoops’ new Marathon Man.
MARATHON MAN…Alistair Johnston screams for a pass as Sead Haksabanovic races forward in the dying moments of the 5-1 Scottish Cup win over St Mirren at Parkhead on February 11.
Take a look at our photograph. Johnston is on the right, bombing forward and shouting out for a pass from Sead Haksabanovic.
As is plainly illustrated, the £3.5million recruit from MLS outfit CF Montreal is eager to push upfield to add his weight to the attack.
CQN would like to point out this image is from the fading seconds of the Scottish Cup-tie against St Mirren 11 days ago with the Hoops coasting to a 5-1 victory following strikes from Reo Hatate (2), Daizen Maeda, Matt O’Riley and South Korean new Bhoy Oh Hyeon-gyu, with his first goal for the club.
Johnston’s urgency to launch into attack to keep the pressure on beaten opponents with the referee’s whistle about to shriek typifies all that Ange Postecoglou exhorts from his players.
We. Never. Stop.
Alistair Johnston has hit the ground running after making his debut in the 2-2 draw at Ibrox on January 2. He has yet to sample defeat after nine appearances.
The 24-year-old Vancouver-born player has no intention of allowing that situation to alter at Hampden on Sunday.