Brendan Rodgers has delivered a forthright message to Celtic winger Mikey Johnston, emphasising the need for him to elevate his game to secure a regular spot in the team.

Despite being given a rare start, Johnston’s performance did not fully meet Rodgers’ expectations, especially following his impactful substitute appearance against St Johnstone.

Rodgers, speaking to Sportsound, acknowledged Johnston’s talent but stressed the importance of making a more significant impact from the start of the game.

He said: “Mikey needs to do more, that is the reality. He has big talent and comes into the game but if you are going to start the game, we need more impact from him but that is something we can hopefully see over the course of time.

“He’s not young. He is 24. At some time you need to grab the bull by the horns and be agressive. It can be easier coming off the bench, it doesn’t feel like pressure. You can come in and show your qualities. If any player wants to be starting here you have to have that personality to come in and play. But he’s been really good in training and earned the start. Hopefully if he gets more starts he can show more of his qualities“

The reality of it is that Johnston just isn’t Celtic quality. While injuries weaken Celtic’s wings he will get some game time, but after January, he’ll most likely struggle for minutes.

When Abada and Maeda come back from injury, Brendan Rodgers will have a decision to make, with summer signing Luis Palma starring on the left.

There is also hope that K-League young player of the year Yang can develop into a quality player for Celtic, but he’s struggling to impress at the moment.


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