Celtic’s Irish Bhoy Is Earning Rave Reviews And Ange Will Be Watching Closely.

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Mikey Johnston made his Ireland debut last night from the bench, and set up the goal which won the game, and as such he’s earning rave reviews and – as an ancillary benefit – making those in the Scotland set-up who ignored him for years realise what they missed.

The kid is a good player.

He’s not yet a great player, and he has to be a great player to get back to Celtic and make an impact here. Nevertheless, he continues to work hard and grow and develop and I think that he has the right mentality for it to pay off.

We’ve done the right thing by Mikey, particularly in moving him out of Celtic Park for a while. He needed to go out and prove himself somewhere else rather than waste his time on our bench.

He should be a critical part of our team in the future, particularly as he’s a home grown footballer who will be part of our European squad going forward.

He can do it. There was never any doubt about this.

He always had the talent. It needed polish, it needed work, he needed to get better.

I think we risked ruining that guy in throwing him into the team for some of the games we did under Lennon … we even played him as a striker at times and he’s not that and never will be.

Everyone who has encountered him in training says that few players give more.

That’s the kind of thing Ange wants first. It’s not everything – you have to prove that you can perform too. But the guy has something, something frustratingly as obvious as he is inconsistent.

I still think he will come back to Celtic Park and play a role under this boss.

Ange is certainly watching. He will have noted last night’s display with satisfaction. He wanted Mikey to have those kinds of experiences whilst he was out on loan.

Let’s not forget that he handed him a new deal before sending him out.

I was thrilled for the boy, and pleased for our club.

Maybe, just maybe, the real talent will now start to emerge.

Those headlines today can only help.

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  • Johnny Green says:

    We all know that Mikey is talented and we all hoped that he would blossom into a great player, but I still have my doubts. We have seen fleeting glimpses of what he is all about, but not ever enough to convince me he has got what it takes. One goal scored in Portugal is not enough to change my mind on him, although his assists record is pretty good. I just think we have too many better players in front of him in the queue and I doubt very much that he can overcome and surpass them, does he have the hunger and the attitude to make that happen? I think he will be sold on in due course and putting himself in the shop window for Ireland is a plus for Celtic in that regard.

  • DGL says:

    He has never shown enough to say he is good enough – and as for him being ‘Irish’? He may be eligible within the rules, but those rules are utter nonsense and have led to having to put up with donkeys like Dykes playing for Scotland ?

  • Johnno says:

    Believe Ange done the right thing in loaning out Mikey, and could have well now set himself up for a big decision to be made in the summer, along with a few others upon there celtic future.
    Could never question Mikey had talent, but seemed to have totally lost confidence and hence the end product was missing on far to many occasions and his confidence dropping even further.
    Terrible spiral for a still very young player to find themselves in and hardly been helped with injuries either.
    A requirement for a celtic player nowadays is been of a standard that able to make a CL squad but have to be able to be depended upon for SPFL when rotation is used moreso during a CL campaign.
    So potentially the real question is weather Mikey has improved enough to be of a better use for us than Forrest next season?
    I think Mikey might have just nudged ahead of Forrest in that regards for next season imo, but should be interesting to see how it all unfolds still

  • Charlie says:

    Glad to see him do well last night but Mikey’s not good enough for Celtic and has had enough chances over the years to prove otherwise. He has tricks but too often hasn’t got the pace or strength to get free of opponents and ends up time and again either turning back or losing the ball. Mikey has 6 winners medals -2 in each competition – for Celtic, without ever really contributing very much to any of those triumphs. He’s a lucky boy. We don’t owe him anything, time to move Mikey on.

  • hugh reilly says:

    He has been a bit part player in Portugal – not starting, subbed when starting or a cameo appearance in final minutes of a game. Difficult to see how a fringe player playing for a team currently fifth in the portuguese league could get a place in celtic team

  • Michael McCartney says:

    A player with great talent but has suffered with injuries and latterly a loss of confidence under Lennon. I hope his loan spell can restore his confidence, as far as his future at Celtic goes I’ll leave that up to Ange. I’m sure he has a good footballing future somewhere.

  • Martin.H says:

    Put a lot of pressure on the lad under Neil, brought him on as usual with 6 minutes to go, he had a few bad injuries, a lot of talent without doubt, hopefully grab opportunity the same as Callum, love to see it.

  • Michael Clark says:

    I hope Mikey Johnston does come back this time not a better player but a more confident player. I remember him in the Lennon team before Ange arrived and it was obvious his ability to take on players with fantastic ball control was evident and he’s got a goal in him. I’m sure if Ange see’s it fit to take him under his wing we’ll see another great tool in the box

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