Wednesday 17 July 2019

Celtic youngster Mikey Johnston says confidence boosted by Neil Lennon after stunning Sarajevo strike

Mikey Johnston is seen during the Scottish Premier league match between Celtic and Hearts at Celtic Park on May 19, 2019 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
Mikey Johnston is seen during the Scottish Premier league match between Celtic and Hearts at Celtic Park on May 19, 2019 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Ronnie Esplin

Mikey Johnston admitted Celtic boss Neil Lennon has imbued him with confidence after his stunning goal against Sarajevo helped the Hoops to a 3-1 win.

The Hoops went behind in the first leg of their first Champions League qualifier at the Asim Ferhatovic Hase stadium on Tuesday night when Mirko Oremus struck in the 29th minute following a corner.

However, Irish-qualified 20-year-old Johnston thundered in his first European goal from 25 yards six minutes later as the Scottish champions responded by upping the tempo.

French striker Odsonne Edouard, 21, put Celtic ahead with a classy finish in the 51st minute before substitute Scott Sinclair, on for James Forrest, added a third with a cheeky finish four minutes from time to put Lennon's side in the driving seat for next week's return game at Parkhead.

Johnston said: "If I keep performing well and I am training well, I will get opportunities.

"The manager has trusted me to play so I need to take a lot of confidence from that and scoring a goal helps.

"I worked myself a couple of yards of space and I just hit it. I am happy with it.

"I have scored some good goals so I don't know (if it was the best), maybe.

"It was good to respond like that.

"When you are going away from home, it is always going to be hard.

"The boys dug deep and we got a result and that is exactly what we wanted to take back to Celtic Park."

PA Media

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