CANADIAN Alistair Johnston arrived at Celtic via the World Cup Finals in Qatar and made his third first-team appearance in the 4-0 win over St Mirren last night.

The 24-year-old right-back enjoyed the occasion after yet another outing in Glasgow.

Johnston has yet to don the hoops outside the city after making his debut in the 2-2 draw at Ibrox on January 2 and then keeping his place for the 2-0 league win over Kilmarnock at Parkhead before spending the afternoon on the substitutes’ bench in the holders’ identical scoreline over the Rugby Park side at Hampden last weekend.

HOOPS, YOU DID IT AGAIN…Alistair Johnston congratulates goalscoring winger Liel Abada after his opener in the 4-0 romp against St Mirren at Parkhead.

He returned to action in Paradise to play his part in the champions maintaining a nine-point advantage at the Premiership pinnacle with a double from Kyogo Furuhashi and others from Liel Abada and David Turnbull making sure the pacesetters did not falter for a second time against the only Scottish team to beat them this season.

Reflecting on his third outing, Johnston said: “It was a difficult one, we knew they were going to be physical and they stuck to their game plan.

“They had one in the back of the net which was thankfully offside and it was a bit of a wake-up for us.

“We came out with some good energy and we knew every set-piece and long throw was going to be a battle.

“We dug in and it was nice to put four in and it’s another three points and we focus on the next one.”

Johnston, speaking to Celtic TV, continued: “We’ve got quality throughout this entire team and you see David Turnbull, what a strike that was.

UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL…Alistair Johnston gets acquainted with St Mirren defender Charles Dunne.

“We have quality littered through this entire roster and if you give guys half-chances here then it will end up in the back of the net.

“It was great the guys were getting on the end of things and Kyogo was getting his rewards for his runs into the box and the quality was there on the crosses, as well.”

The tough-tackling, hard-running Vancouver-born international added: “It’s something we’ve been working on, we knew this team was the only one we’ve lost to this year and it was an extra motivation.

“So, it was good to get the three points on a chilly night and have our fans excited and bouncing in the stadium.

“We had an eleven that hadn’t played much together, but I thought Yuki Kobayashi did brilliantly in his first match with everything getting pumped into the box and Josip Juranovic did as well playing at left-back.”

Johnston is now on stand-by for his fourth appearance – in Glasgow against Morton in the Scottish Cup on Saturday.


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