“There is no doubt he will have another opportunity at Celtic,” Hartson on Mikey Johnston

John Hartson has backed Mikey Johnston to use his successful loan move at West Brom to finally fulfil his life-long ambition to make himself into a star at Celtic. Brendan Rodgers admitted that he is delighted for the winger after his superb start at West Brom where he has already grabbed a half dozen goals and made himself a huge hero with the Hawthorns support.

Can become a hero at Celtic 

Mikey Johnston during the pre match warm up West Bromwich Albion v Bristol City, EFL Sky Bet Championship, The Hawthorns, 16 March 2024. Photo Richard Bowcott/IPS/Shutterstock

Now the former Celtic striker reckons that this success can at long last see Johnston make the breakthrough at his home club and become a hero with the Celtic support.

Speaking on the Go Radio Football Show, Hartson outlined his thoughts on what might be ahead for Mikey Johnston.

“This is a really interesting one. When Brendan Rodgers said that he needs to move a few on a lot of the Celtic fans would have put Mikey Johnston in that because his performances for Celtic have not been at the level that Rodgers has been looking for.

In all fairness to Celtic

“Now you go and send him to West Brom and people are saying we should have kept him, given him chances etc. But in all fairness Celtic were not in a position to give lads opportunities, they have to go win games.

“So Brendan maybe needs to go with his more tried and trusted and experience. I am glad for Mikey that he is doing so well. West Brom is a big club. They are going for promotion back into the Premier League and some of the goals he has scored have been fantastic.

Mikey Johnston West Bromwich Albion v Bristol City, EFL Sky Bet Championship, The Hawthorns, 16 March 2024. Photo Richard Bowcott/IPS/Shutterstock

At Celtic the pressure is multiplied

“But remember he is only on loan so Celtic will see more of Mikey Johnston it is just a case of the player himself when he comes back making a similar impact back at Celtic where the pressure is multiplied a lot more, and not being disrespectful to the Championship, he has to perform every single week at Celtic.

“There is no hiding place. So when he comes back eventually it is going to be down to him to put those type of performances he’s shown at West Brom.

“Sometimes maybe a player needs to go out on loan to discover himself again and put in some good performances. He’s responded exactly how Brendan Rodgers will have wanted him to. Keep going, be positive and go do well at your loan club. Your stock is then a bit higher and one or two other clubs may be interested but Celtic hold the player.

Another opportunity at Celtic

“He’s a Celtic player. There is no doubt he will come back and there is no doubt he will have another opportunity at Celtic.”

That assessment is perhaps at odds with the comments from Brendan Rodgers from the weekend after the 3-1 win over St Johnstone. The Celtic manager was asked for his thoughts on how Johnston is getting on tearing up the English Championship.

The shirt is a different weight

“Brilliant. I’ve said before about Mikey’s talent. He has been here a long time. Listen the shirt is a different weight of shirt when you leave here. But Mikey has always shown the talent,” Rodgers said as reported by The Celtic Star.

“He has had a number of years where he has picked up lots of injuries and he needed to get a run of games. I spoke to him in the summer when he was looking to go on loan and I said stay and get your training right because you’ve not had a period of training consistently never mind playing games.

Look at it again in the summer

“He was able to do that then he featured in some games for us and once he trained and featured it was then about getting him game time. He has gone and done fantastic and shown the talent everyone knows he has. Hopefully he continues with that and then we can look at it again in the summer.”

Tags Celtic news John Hartson Mikey Johnston
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