MIKEY JOHNSTON “needs to do more” – that was the blunt message from Brendan Rodgers after the 4-1 win over Hibs at Parkhead.
The Republic of Ireland international winger made his first start of the season since the return of the Irishman in June.
Johnston had helped raise the tempo and standard of the struggling side when he replaced the toiling Yang Hyun-jun for the second-half in the comeback 3-1 triumph over St Johnstone in Perth at the weekend.
The Hoops gaffer took the time to praise two-goal Oh Hyeon-gyu, Callum McGrgeor, Matt O’Riley and Tomoki Iwata after their displays in overwhelming the Edinburgh outfit, as CQN reported earlier today.
ON A WING AND A PRAYER…Mikey Johnston starred in the second-half revival against St Johnstone, but still left question mrks after his display in the 4-1 win over Hibs.
However, Rodgers had clearly not been overly impressed by the showing of Johnston and, speaking to BBC Sport, said: “Mikey needs to do more. That’s the reality. He is a big talent, we need more impact from him.
“He’s not young, he’s 24. At some point, he has to grab the bull by the horns.”
Yang felt the wrath of Rodgers following his inept 45 minutes’ showing against the Saints when he didn’t even make a place on the substitutes’ bench against the Easter Road club.
The focus is now on Johnston, who spent last season on loan at Portuguese top-flight club Vitoria Guimaraes, to produce the goods.
It will be interesting to see if he gets the nod to play against Kilmarnock at Rugby Park on Sunday.
The gauntlet has been thrown down – it’s up to the flamboyant forward to pick it up.