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Portuguese Club Boss Predicts Bright Future For Mikey Johnston At Celtic

Portuguese Club Boss Predicts Bright Future For Mikey Johnston At Celtic
PJ Browne
By PJ Browne
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Vitória de Guimarães manager Moreno Teixeira believes Mikey Johnston will have a new "status" at Celtic when he returns to the Scottish club after his loan spell in Portugal.

The 23-year-old joined the Portuguese side in September and has enjoyed a productive time in the Primeira Liga.

It emerged in early March that Johnston would be switching his international allegiance from Scotland to Ireland. The winger made appearances off the bench in both of Ireland's games this month against Latvia and France. He had an immediate impact against the former with a shot which hit the post leading to the winner for Chiedozie Ogbene.

'Celtic want me to come back and produce'

"Mikey Johnston is a young player who is still learning and we knew he had room to improve,” Tiexeira told Scottish newsper The Herald.

"I was not mistaken: he has skill, speed and fits easily into any tactical system. He is growing in every way, becoming more and more useful for the team.

"He has three goals and three assists in 22 games played by Vitória SC, which is already a very good record for someone playing for the first time in the Portuguese Liga, one of the most competitive in Europe.

"We have excellent options for the wings and he deserved the opportunities he had, being very competitive and professional both in training and in games.


"Naturally he should improve some aspects and he knows what they are, but I am not at all surprised by his call to the Republic of Ireland.

"He is a valuable winger, he has evolved a lot and, therefore, I believe he will have another status when he returns to Celtic at the end of the season."

Johnston explained during the international window why he left Celtic on loan this season.


"Last year I did still play 20 games for Celtic so it’s not like I was pushed out the door, I played in a cup final for them, and the club wants me to come back and produce," he said.

"There’s a lot of players in my position [at Celtic], maybe six or seven wingers including myself, I needed consistency, needed more minutes, we had an honest conversation and he said it was best I went elsewhere, to get them minutes and I was fine with that.

"I needed a bit of a freshen-up, opinions on me weren’t accurate and I wanted to change that. I had to get away from the UK, to be honest.


"I want to enjoy football and I want to play, I don’t want to sit on the bench and not get games, I just want to feel important."

See Also: Brian Kerr Was Not Glowing With Enthusiasm After Ireland's Agonising Defeat To France

Brian Kerr's take on Ireland v France


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