MIKEY JOHNSTON has set his sights on being a Comeback Bhoy.

The Celtic winger’s season-long loan deal at Portuguese side Vitoria Guimaraes is coming to a conclusion.

Johnston has enjoyed his spell with the top-flight team as they have battled for a place in the Europa League and his form was noted by Republic of Ireland boss Stephen Kenny who has persuaded the former Scotland Under- 21 star to switch international allegiances.

BY THE RIGHT…Mikey Johnston fires in a shot in the 3-0 win over Dundee United at Tannadice on December 5 2021.

However, the Glaswegian is concentrating on his club football as he prepares to return to the champions to prove he is an improved player to Ange Postecoglou who allowed him to move to get some precious game-time with the Hoops top heavy with performers in his role such as Filipe Jota, Liel Abada, Sead Haksabanovic and Daizen Maeda.

The Greek-Australian gaffer selected Johnston in his first silverware shoot-out when the youngster was in at the start against Hibs in the 2-1 League Cup Final win in December 2021.

That was one of 20 appearances for Johnston under Postecoglou – and the tricky touchline operator is determined to add a whole lot more.

Johnston said: “What happens next season isn’t really down to me. I’ve given it everything I’ve got over here and I’ve enjoyed it.

“But if I can go back to Celtic and play, that’s definitely something I want to do. I’m 24 and this is the most games I’ve played in a season. I want to build on that, not go back the way.

GREEN FOR GO…Mikey Johnston celebrates the 2-1 League Cup Final triumph over Hibs at Hampden on December 19 2021. David Turnbull joins in.

“I’d love to play for Celtic next season, but we’ll have to wait and see. I’ve always thought I could play for the club on a regular basis. I’ve never felt I wasn’t good enough to be there.

“Once you do that, you’re defeated. Obviously, I’ve watched as many games as I possibly could over here. They’ve done brilliantly this season and I want to be involved in that. Any player would.

“I reckon they’ll have watched me this season in Portugal. I’ve had a few messages from people at the club.”

Johnston, speaking to the Sunday Mail, added: “I’d love to gain Ange’s trust. I think he did trust me in spells and it was up to me to produce.

“I know I didn’t always do that and there’s so much competition for places at Celtic, but he started me in a Cup Final not that long ago.

“So, I think he does trust me. He’s been brilliant for the club and he’s got the team playing some fantastic football.”

Now the big question is: Does Mikey Johnston, who is under contract at the Hoops until May 31 2026, have a part to play in Postecoglou’s future plans?

It is going to be a crucial summer for the player and the club.

Watch this space!


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