“It’s down to us, it’s in our control,” Alistair Johnston on Celtic title pursuit

Alistair Johnston isn’t going to get himself stressed out worrying about a tight title race with theRangers as Celtic look to clinch a 12th title in 13 seasons. Both title hopefuls lost at the weekend with the biggest shock being theRangers failing to take anything from Motherwell at Ibrox (thus using up another home game).

Celtic reverse at Tynecastle was a more challenging fixture on paper and so it turned out thanks to the disgraceful interventions of theRangers supporter working the VAR levers for the corrupt to the core Scottish FA.

It’s a break from Scottish Premiership action this weekend as attention turns to the Scottish Cup with theRangers away to Hibs at Easter Road, while Celtic take on Livingston at Celtic Park.

We don’t really read that stuff

“Me? I don’t find it difficult,” the Canadian said via Scottish Sun, as he thought about the pressure on the players at this stage of the season. “If you are on the social media platforms you will maybe get a bit of it, but a lot of us don’t really read that stuff.

“You just keep doing what you do in your normal life. All of us have hobbies outside of football, so we just stick to that. I have a dog, a black lab called Salem, so I walk the dog and do things like that.

“The days pass and you can just focus on other things and not get too wound up about a title race. I have other things in my life.”

AJ however accepted that it could be difficult for the new arrivals, especially given their age, to play for a club like Celtic in a football mad city like Glasgow with one of the fiercest rivals in world football. And through in a tight title race and the whole thing ramps up even further.

Scrutiny in a football-mad city 

“It is not always easy, especially for the new guys coming in,” Johnston admitted. “They maybe haven’t felt this kind of pressure before and the scrutiny from living in a city that is this football mad.

“The older guys are here for them through this kind of period. We just kind of block out the noise. All that really matters is what is in that changing room and that is what’s going to take us to the title or not.

“It comes down to that. It’s down to us, it’s in our control. There’s nothing more to add.”

Talk in the mainstream media about the a disjoint in the Celtic changing room surprised Johnston, as it’s clearly the first he’s heard of it. Funny that.

“That’s interesting. I haven’t heard the disjointed part. But the locker room is really together again. We have great leaders. We have guys like Cal and Joe and James Forrest, who have played in difficult run-ins and lifted all kinds of trophies.

We want to win it for Joe 

“There are quite a few guys in that locker room who won it last year and who understand what it takes to win. So I think there is that confidence and that self-belief there, for sure.

“With it being Joe’s last year, we want to send him off right, so there are things like that,” Alistair Johnston said.

“The confidence is there, definitely, and the togetherness is there. I haven’t really noticed any difference from last year when I came in to this year. There is still a really good group of guys who come in here and work hard every day and who fight for each other.

“I’m really excited for these next few months. It’s a chance for us to play our football.
If we do that then anything is possible.”

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