MIKEY Johnston has admitted missing out on Celtic’s historic run to the last 32 of the Europa League has fuelled his desire to be involved against Copenhagen in 2020.

Neil Lennon’s team booked their place in the knockout rounds of the European competition with two group games to spare with a draw against Rennes away and wins over Lazio and Cluj.

But Johnston had to cheer the Parkhead club on from the sidelines in those matches due to a hip and groin injury that sidelined him for nearly three months.

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The 20-year-old, who made his comeback in the 3-1 victory over Rennes in Glasgow last month, is now determined to feature in the double header with Danish champions Copenhagen in February.

“One of the hardest parts of being out earlier was missing the big European ties,” he said. “I was looking forward to testing myself in those games.

“But at least I should have the chance to improve on that in the New Year. The fans all want European football and the players are no different.”

Johnston added: "I’m just delighted to be back and I want to get minutes wherever I can.

"With my last injury, I was rushed back on a couple of occasions – it was a tough injury to deal with and it was hard for both me and the medical people to know when was the right time to come back.

“Back then I was concerned but it’s gone now. The manager was worried too, but that was because I was in and out – if we’d known then how to manage the situation it would’ve been a lot smoother for everyone.

“It was frustrating but you need to overcome things like that if you’re going to get better.”

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Johnston had become a Celtic first team regular before he suffered his injury and revealed that the encouragement of manager Lennon and his coaching team had finally enabled him to establish himself.

“I don’t feel like a senior pro, but I feel more a part of the first team squad now," he said. "There’s always going to be pressure to deliver at Celtic so it’s not much different now than it was at first. Even as a kid, if you have a bad game then you’re still going to be slaughtered by some people.

“I’ve just got to show in training that I deserve to play and earn my chance that way. Everyone has doubts at certain times in their career but, as a winger, you need to have the confidence to take men on. What I’m good at is getting on the ball and driving at people – that’s what I’m comfortable with.

“The coaching staff have told me they’ll never moan at me for taking men on and that kind of encouragement boosts your belief. Anyway, if a winger has a bad game but still scores then he’s been successful.

“When I’m not playing, I always try to pick up tips from watching other players like James Forrest or Mohamed Elyounoussi. I do that with televised games as well.”

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Johnston is hoping to help Celtic beat St Mirren in Paisley this afternoon and Rangers at Parkhead on Sunday and finish the first half of the 2019/20 season on a massive high.

But the Scotland Under-21 internationalist believes whatever happens in those two games the treble treble winners can look back on the last six months with pride.

“Whatever happens in these last two games, the first half of the season has already been a success," he said. "We’ve won the first trophy and we’re in Europe after Christmas, which is what we set out to do at the start of the season. It’s been a really good start."