‘I MAY HAVE TO LEAVE CELTS,’ TEEN ACE

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MIKEY JOHNSTON will have a chat with Brendan Rodgers before considering the options of a loan move to get some first-team game-time, as he suggested in CQN on Saturday.

The 19-year-old winger was involved in the all-change second-half  Celtic line-up against Standard Liege and had an impressive 45 minutes, capping his performance with a cheeky dinked fourth goal in the 4-1 success.

Scotland Under-21 international Johnston missed three months of last season with a thigh injury, but is eager now to start making inroads into the champions’ top squad for the new campaign.

He said: “I’m a Celtic fan, so I want to be here as long as possible and break into the first team. If this isn’t my year, then I’ll need to go somewhere else to play. I’ll see what the gaffer thinks. But I train every day with guys who came through the ranks – players such as Kieran Tierney, Callum McGregor and James Forrest – and they’re always giving me advice.

JOY BHOY JOHNSTON…tricky Mikey lobs in Celtic’s fourth goal against Standard Liege.

“They’ve been in exactly the same position as I’m in now, so you need to learn from them.

“Last season I had a taste of it, but I also had a thigh injury which kept me out for three months and that stunted my progress because I had been hoping for more at that time. That was disappointing, but you can’t let it affect you because you need to come back raring to go.

“I want to go out and play the way I always have done; it’s got me this far, so I don’t see any need to change. The manager wants me to do that anyway – when I’m in the final third I can express myself and, when I’m further back, it’s all about keeping possession and not losing the ball.”

Moussa Dembele and Odsonne Edouard have made a strong early impression this term, too, and Johnston appreciates that he has a bit to do in terms of bulking up his slender frame.

He added: “Both of them are unbelievable, even at training. They are top players and their physicality is just incredible.

“The way I play, I think I need to be on the slight side, but I also want to get a bit bigger, so I’m working hard in the gym to get myself as ready as I can be.”

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